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Valley Lateral Project

NYS DEC Decision Letter:

After a comprehensive technical and legal review, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has conditionally denied water quality permits for Millennium's proposed Valley Lateral pipeline project. The conditional denial is based in part on the inadequacy of the environmental review conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which failed to account for downstream greenhouse gas emissions.

DEC subjects all applications for environmental permits to an extensive and transparent review process that encourages public input at every step‎, and DEC's determination included consideration of nearly 6,000 public comments. DEC will continue to thoroughly evaluate all applications to ensure they do not adversely impact the environment.

Valley Lateral Decision Letter with Exhibit A (PDF) (588 KB)

Description of Proposed Action:

Construction of a new 7.8 mile, 16-inch diameter natural gas pipeline lateral extending from Millennium's existing main line pipeline north to the new 650 megawatt natural gas powered Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Center. The proposed pipeline lateral is located in the Towns of Wawayanda and Minisink in Orange County, New York. The project would provide approximately 130 million cubic feet per day of natural gas to the CPV Valley Energy Center.

The pipeline lateral would be installed via horizontal directional drill (HDD) below two Class C(t) streams (Rutgers Creek) and seven federally regulated streams (no impacts). Additionally, the pipeline lateral would be installed via open trench within three federally regulated streams resulting in a temporary disturbance to the bed and banks of the streams for a total of approximately 16 linear feet.

Three state regulated Freshwater Wetlands (MD-23, MD-26 and MD-29) would be crossed via trenchless methods (no impacts). A total of 1.35 acres of federally regulated wetlands would be temporarily impacted by the construction of the pipeline lateral and 0.34 acres of federally regulated wetlands would be permanently impacted by the operation of the pipeline lateral.

Statutory and Regulatory Provisions:

Millennium has applied for the following permits from the Department: Section 401 Water Quality Certification, Article 24 Freshwater Wetlands Permit and an Article 15 Protection of Waters Permit.

These applications were filed and reviewed pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Article 3, Title 3 (General Functions, Powers, Duties and Jurisdiction), and Article 70 (Uniform Procedures Act or UPA); and pursuant to Title 6 of Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) Part 621- Uniform Procedures.

The relevant provisions for the Water Quality Certificate are found at: Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) (33 USCA §1341) and the regulations promulgated at 6 NYCRR §608.9 and 6 NYCRR Parts 700 - 706 and 750. The regulations for ECL Articles 15 and 24 are found at 6 NYCRR §608 and §663 respectively.

In addition to these permits being considered under UPA, the project would be required to demonstrate the ability to obtain coverage under the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Stormwater General Permit for Construction Activities (GP-0-10-001) prior to conducting any construction activities that disturb greater than one acre.

NEPA and FERC Process:

Millennium filed an application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (Certificate) with the FERC on November 13, 2015 to construct and operate the Valley Lateral Project. FERC is the lead agency for the environmental review of interstate natural gas pipelines. On May 9, 2016, FERC staff prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Valley Lateral Project proposed in Docket No. CP16-17, in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The DEC relies upon the federal NEPA environmental impact review process conducted by FERC to complete its review of the permit applications submitted by applicants to the DEC and to ultimately make a determination whether to issue its authorizations. In accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), applicants seeking a federal license or permit for activities that may result in a discharge to federally regulated waters must obtain a WQC from the DEC indicating that the proposed activity would comply with State water quality standards.

Availability of Documents:

Application materials for the Valley Lateral Project can be viewed and downloaded at Millennium's website. (link leaves DEC website).

The CPV Valley Energy Center was previously approved under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA); additional information about the CPV project can be found at CPV Valley's website. (link leaves DEC website).

Notice of Complete Application

Questions on the project can be submitted to:

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