New York has denied application for water quality certification from Williams for its $1 billion shale gas pipeline. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said the pipeline would result in water quality violations. The DEC denied the required Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification. It said the denial was “without prejudice” which means the company can reapply.

Williams is developing the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project to expand the existing Transco natural gas pipeline system by the 2020 winter heating season to provide gas supply that will help the City reach its clean air goals, it says.

“As currently conceived in the application, construction of the NESE pipeline project is projected to result in water quality violations and fails to meet New York State’s rigorous water quality standards,” the DEC said in a statement. “Specifically, construction of the proposed project would result in significant water quality impacts from the re-suspension of sediments and other contaminants, including mercury and copper. In addition, the proposed project would cause impacts to habitats due to the disturbance of shellfish beds and other benthic resources.”

In response to the denial without prejudice, Williams said: “The Department of Environmental Conservation raised a discrete technical issue with our application for water quality certification. Our team will be evaluating the issue and resubmitting the application quickly. We are confident that we can be responsive to this technical concern, meet our customer’s in-service date and avoid a moratorium that would have a devastating impact on the regional economy and environment.”

Williams operates the Transco pipeline – a 10,000-mile interstate transmission pipeline system which transports much of the natural gas consumed in the northeastern United States.

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17th May 2019