Jersey City, N.J., joined the Sierra Club and other environmental groups in asking FERC to reconsider its order approving Spectra Energy Corp subsidiaries to build the New Jersey-New York natural gas pipeline expansion into New York City.
Signed by Derek Fanciullo, assistant corporation counsel for the Jersey City Department of Law, the petition said FERC violated the U.S. Constitution and the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act. The city said the federal commission failed to adequately address concerns of the city and its residents over safety, environmental and economic issues. And like the environmental groups, the city accused FERC of a "pro-pipeline company bias."
"Though it is entirely impermissible for FERC to render biased decisions, FERC goes one step further: It 'covers its tracks' by abusing its discretion in violation of the APA by using said discretion to craft post hoc explanations for its choices," Fanciullo wrote in the June 20 letter. "In effect, the commission exercises selective vision - finding faults in alternative routes - and selective blindness - ignoring faults in pipeline companies' proposed routes - to justify its siting decisions."
On May 21, FERC unanimously approved with conditions the New Jersey-New York expansion proposed by Spectra Energy subsidiaries Texas Eastern Transmission LP and Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC. The project will involve construction and operation of new and replacement pipeline and related facilities designed to provide up to 800,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service into Manhattan.
Spectra Energy officials have said the approximately 20-mile extension of the Texas Eastern and Algonquin systems would bring needed gas supplies to New York City, avoid significant environmental impact and be built to modern safety standards. (CP11-56)
Copyright 2012 SNL Financial LC. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published June 27, 2012, in SNL Daily Gas Report.)