The construction of the new $700 million pipeline bringing Marcellus shale gas to heavily populated areas in New York and New England is good news for the bill-payers but not so good to landowners who live in the path of the proposed Constitution Pipeline. But their arguments fell on deaf ears when, on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Malachy Mannion ruled that the construction companies are within rights to run the pipeline across seven northeastern Pennsylvania properties whose owners had not agreed to it.
Of 651 landowners in New York and Pennsylvania affected by the pipeline project, 125 refused to sign right of way agreements. In Pennsylvania, the companies behind the project – Tulsa-based Williams Partners and Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas – sought access to 130 properties and filed condemnation proceedings on 20. Agreements were reached with the other 13 before a judge ruled, a Williams spokesman, Chris Stockton, told Fox News.
The pipeline already obtained the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in December and, last week, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection approved erosion control and stream crossing permits for the pipeline. Chris Stockton, said Thursday the group hopes to begin construction June 1 and still needs permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation.
The companies will also have to posts a $1.6 million bond to ensure there is money to pay the landowners once a judge approves the final compensation.
The Constitution pipeline will deliver 650 million cubic feet of gas from Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County through New York’s Broome, Chenango, and Delaware counties to the existing Tennessee and Iroquois pipelines in the Schoharie County town of Wright, 80 miles southwest of Albany, New York.
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