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DEC official says state may lose pipeline authority

Oct 30, 2015 12:03 am
Scott Waldman in Politico New York reports that a senior Department of Environmental Conservation official says New York might not be overseeing pipelines soon if it improperly withholds approvals. Currently, there are several pending pipeline propsals criss-crossing the WGXC listening area, in Delaware, Schoharie, Albany, and Rensselear counties. The state has to sign off on water certifications when pipelines crosses stream beds and wetlands. The Cuomo administration has has been slow to approve the current pipelines, and Jared Snyder, assistant DEC commissioner for air, climate and energy, says that could cost New York some of its oversight ability. “If we are to use that authority arbitrarily or to withhold these certifications where we should be granting them, what then can happen … is there is an opportunity for the federal government to just take that process over from us and then we no longer have that authority,” Snyder said at a roundtable discussion on climate change sponsored by the state Assembly Oct. 26. “So that’s the position we’re in. We look at it really carefully. We have people going out in the field, every stream crossing, every wetland to make sure these are being done using the best techniques to protect our resources. But we have limited authority over that broader energy question of whether the pipeline is needed.” Read the full story in Politico New York.