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Constitution Pipeline to Take Legal Action


BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- "Shock. I was stunned. I literally couldn't believe it. I was enormously relieved," said Toxics Targeting President Walter Hang.

It's a feeling many clean energy advocates shared in the wake of Friday's decision regarding the Constitution Pipeline.

The state DEC rejected the water quality certificates needed to move the project forward. Members of Citizen Action of New York believe their message was heard loud and clear.

"It was an incredible organizing effort that helped make this happen," said Isaac Silberman-Gorn, Citizen Action of NY community organizer, "and open the door for the governor to look at the signs, look at the real impacts and do the right thing and really lead the country."

Developers say they were taken aback by Friday's decision, saying "We worked in good faith with the NYSDEC for years, so this decision comes as a surprise and is contrary to our dialogue and collaborative effort to address concerns."

Denying the project will prevent more than 700,000 trees from being cut down and prevent more than 100 homes from being demolished. But opponents of the pipeline say their battle is long from over.

Constitution Pipeline announced Monday that they remain committed to the project and will pursue legal action, saying, "We believe NYSDEC’s stated rationale for the denial includes flagrant misstatements and inaccurate allegations, and appears to be driven more by New York State politics than by environmental science."

"The fracktivists who have been working so hard to make sure the Constitution Pipeline didn't proceed are not in any way going to take our foot off the pedal. We're going to keep pushing," said Hang.

Pipeline developers claim more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs and millions of dollars of revenue for the region will be delayed. Now people on both sides will prepare for the next stage of the debate, likely in a courtroom.