The federal agency in charge of interstate natural gas pipelines gave its final approval to a 124-mile line to ship gas from Susquehanna County to Schoharie County, New York.

But Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC isn’t finished yet. The company must still seek permits from Pennsylvania, New York and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Constitution is a joint venture among pipeline company Williams, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. and WGL Holdings Inc.

When complete, the line will ship up to 650 million cubic feet of Marcellus Shale gas per day to customers in New York and New England. Cabot has agreed to ship 500 million cubic feet per day; Southwestern Energy Corp. agreed to the other 150


The decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hands Constitution the power of eminent domain to force landowners to accept the pipeline on their land.

It also sets 43 environmental conditions Constitution must follow when it builds the line.

The line faced more fierce opposition in New York than in Pennsylvania, although some Pennsylvania landowners, like New Milford Twp. resident Tony Baroni, bristle at the idea of being forced to accept a pipeline.

Mr. Baroni already agreed to host a gas gathering line on his land, installed by a company that didn’t have eminent domain power.

He said Constitution has been much more pushy in its dealings with him.

“That’s why I think it being a federal project might not be a good thing,” he said.

Still, since Constitution submitted its initial plans for the pipeline in September 2012, the company has made at least slight changes to more than 50 percent of its planned route, often for environmental or landowner


Anne Marie Garti, a New York attorney and co-founder of the Stop the Pipeline group, said they plan to request a rehearing from FERC and make comments as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reviews the pipeline under the Clean Water Act.

“There’s still big hurdles that the pipeline company has to go through on less friendly territory than rubber-stamper FERC,” she said.

In their latest earnings teleconferences, Cabot’s and Southwestern’s CEOs mentioned uncertainty about the permit process.

Cabot CEO Dan Dinges called Constitution just one of several planned projects involving Cabot but also “the most impactful near-term inflection point.”

The pipeline could be placed in service between late 2015 and July 2016, depending on “the uncertainty that still surrounds (the) final approval process,” Mr. Dinges said.

Southwestern CEO Steve Mueller said the next “big thing” is to receive approvals from New York State.

This should be a “relatively short process,” he said, “but just making sure you get all the permits and predicting when and how you are going to get all those permits is an issue.”

All the pipe Constitution need is stacked and waiting in Albany County, spokesman Chris Stockton said. Thirty-three miles’ worth came from Dura-Bond Industries in Steelton, he said. The other 91 miles came from Florida.

Once construction starts, Constitution plans to have five teams working in different places along the route, he said.

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Related: FERC issues final environmental review for Constitution Pipeline. Final FERC hearing on Constitution Pipeline draws both sides of shale gas debate.

Company picks route for Constitution Pipeline