• States That Participate in the Regulation of Interstate Natural Gas Facilities Waive Sovereign Immunity
  • October 6, 2016 | Author: Richard E. Stultz
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • In an August 8, 2016, opinion, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals rebuffed attempts by environmental groups to overturn New Jersey and Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection (NJDEP and PADEP, respectively) decisions to give the environmental green light to a natural gas pipeline expansion project. See Delaware Riverkeeper Network v Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (3rd Cir. 2016) No. 15-2122 and No. 15-2158 (2016 WL 4174045). Under authority of the Clean Water Act (CWA), NJDEP and PADEP reviewed the pipeline’s expansion proposal for potential water quality effects and then each issued permits to construct. The environmental groups filed separate petitions for review with the Court of Appeals which were later consolidated. While upholding the NJDEP and PADEP decisions, the court clarified the limited role of state governments in regulating interstate natural gas facilities.