Feds Overrule Cuomo’s Denial of Natural Gas Pipeline

ALBANY (AP) -

In a political defeat for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, federal regulators overruled his denial of a key permit for a pipeline expansion fueling a $900 million power plant under construction.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission determined Friday that the state Department of Environmental Conservation took too long to decide on the water quality permit needed to expand the Millennium natural gas pipeline in southeastern New York.

The 7.8-mile pipeline will supply gas for a 650-megawatt Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda, 53 miles north of New York City. The owner, Competitive Power Ventures, hailed the FERC decision and said the plant will open early next year.

The DEC said it’s reviewing the decision and will consider all options.

Environmental activists have targeted the pipeline as a way to stop the power plant, and Cuomo issued the permit denial in what was greeted as a victory for climate change activists.