FERC issued a key and welcome ­decision on Sept. 15, when it held that the state of New York, through its passive-aggressive handling of a ­federal Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 ­certification, had waived its authority to issue the certification. With this decision, FERC effectively tamps down on states treating CWA certifications as political footballs in order to veto pipeline infrastructure projects based on politics and pressure by ideological, anti-natural gas interest groups, instead of actual law or facts.

This FERC decision involves the 7.8-mile Millennium Valley Lateral pipeline, which is intended to serve the 680 MW gas-fired CPV Valley Energy Center in Wayawanda, Orange County, New York, currently under construction. FERC had granted the ­certificate of public convenience and necessity for the line on Nov. 9, 2016, conditioned on receipt or waiver of state CWA Section 401 certification.

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