Proposed Conn. natural gas pipeline stopped by Supreme Court

Nick Rees Dec. 3, 2008, 1:10pm

Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) -- A proposed natural gas pipeline in Connecticut has been stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding Connecticut's denial of a key environmental permit, ending an almost decade long fight to stop the pipeline's construction.

The Department of Environmental Protection, in denying the request for a permit, cited the proposed pipeline potential harm to water quality and damage to oyster beds around the Thimble Islands in Long Island Sound. The 45 mile pipeline would have included 22 miles across the Long Island Sound.

The Supreme Court's denial of Islander East's request to hear an appeal of a lower court's decision on the Department of Environmental Protection's permit denial effectively kills the pipeline as Islander East has now exhausted all appeals of the denial.

"This sweeping victory is the death knell for this hugely destructive project, dealing it the demise it so richly deserves," Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said. "We fought long and hard to finally triumph over selfish corporate interests seeking to despoil Long Island Sound -- showing the strength of grass roots environmental activism. I thank the many groups and individuals who joined my office in this protracted and ultimately successful fight to protect fragile areas, including the Thimble Islands, from destruction."

The Democratic attorney general said the "immensely invasive, intrusive" pipeline was "worst place and worst case" for Long Island Sound and its environment, which he called a national treasure.

"The U.S. Supreme Court rightly let stand a powerful Court of Appeals decision citing the environmental destruction certain to result from dredging, drilling, plowing and backfilling to lay this pipeline," he said.

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