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Ohio Utica Shale

Delaware Riverkeeper sues FERC over Leidy pipeline

By Bob Downing Published: March 11, 2016

From a press release:

Delaware Riverkeeper Sues FERC Over Leidy Pipeline
FERC’s approval process of Transco projects violate federal law

BRISTOL, PA – The Delaware Riverkeeper Network filed a lawsuit on March 8th against the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC) challenging its approval of the Leidy Southeast Expansion Project pipeline.
Filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the suit alleges that FERC violated
the National Environmental Policy Act by engaging in illegal ‘segmentation’ in its decision-making process,
and by issuing its approval of the pipeline before the State of Pennsylvania had given Clean Water Act
approval for the project.
According to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, FERC violated the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) by segmenting its review of Transco’s Leidy Southeast pipeline project into at least four separate
projects. Segmenting a single project into smaller pieces in order to evade full consideration of its
environmental impacts is prohibited by NEPA regulations and court opinions. Most recently, in the case of
Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. FERC, the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled this kind of
segmenting of pipeline projects for review to be improper and in violation of the law.
Furthermore, the case alleges that under the Clean Water Act and court decisions, FERC is clearly obligated
to wait until a state grants a Clean Water Act 401 Certification for a project before granting its own
approval, and in the case of the Leidy Southeast Pipeline FERC failed to allow the state to go first.
“What FERC is doing is blatantly illegal, both under NEPA and the Clean Water Act,” says Maya van
Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “These are not paper
violations of law-- they are resulting in inappropriate and premature approvals of pipelines that are
robbing states and communities of the information and legal opportunity to say no.”
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is requesting that the D.C. court review FERC’s authorization of
Transco to commence building the Leidy Southeast Pipeline.
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