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For Release: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

DEC Statement on Water Quality Certification for Proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipeline Project

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the agency's denial, without prejudice, of the required Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project. The full decision is outlined in a letter (PDF) by Daniel Whitehead, Director, Division of Environmental Permits, DEC.

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. 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.

DEC conducted a comprehensive review of the NESE application and supporting materials, as well as the more than 14,000 public comments received on the project, before reaching this decision. DEC subjects all applications for environmental permits to an extensive and transparent review process that encourages public input at every step‎.

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