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Federal Court of Appeals rules in favor of National Fuel's proposed pipeline

Posted at 10:05 PM, Feb 06, 2019

NEW YORK, NY (WKBW) — A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of National Fuel and the controversial Northern Access Pipeline.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's reasons for denying a water quality certificate for the pipeline were unsubstantiated.

"Although this is a close case, the Denial Letter here insufficiently explains any rational connection between facts found and choices made," the court's decision says.

The 2017 denial halted National Fuel's plans to connect fracking fields in Pennsylvania to existing pipelines in northern Erie County.

The DEC argued National Fuel could not prove that it could build the pipeline and protect waterways.

The appeals court vacated the decision of the DEC "with instructions for the Department to more clearly articulate its basis for the denial and how that basis is connected to information in the existing administrative record."