May 1, 2015
Stephen M. Tomasik
DEC - Division of Environmental Permits
625 Broadway, 4th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-1750
Dear Mr. Tomasik:
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has reopened the comment period for the Constitution Pipeline project as the applicant has resubmitted its water quality applications to the Department. I understand that the resubmittal is for the convenience of the DEC, which allows it to complete its review of the application and for the public to further comment on the proposal.
I wish to take this opportunity to strongly endorse the project and to encourage the DEC to quickly conclude its review process and issue necessary permits allowing the project to proceed.
The Constitution Pipeline will become a necessary and integral part of the natural gas infrastructure serving New York State and New England. Bringing low-cost natural gas to our region will only have positive benefits to residential and commercial consumers. Moreover, Constitution affords local communities along the pipeline route the opportunity to establish gas distribution franchises which will lower energy costs and expand economic development opportunities in the Southern Tier of New York State. The project will also pay millions in property taxes each year to local governments and school districts, thereby lessening existing burdens on homeowners and businesses.
Just as important, the applicant has conducted a wide ranging environmental review, in cooperation with federal, state and local agencies to insure that the project has the least possible environmental impact upon waters, wetlands and wildlife in the region.
Given the obvious need for new energy infrastructure and the minor impacts on the environment, I urge the DEC to approve the permit applications on an expedited basis.