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Pipeline company asks court to preclude EHB from hearing environmental groups' petitions

The Scranton Times-Tribune is reporting that Houston-based Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC, has filed a federal-court complaint seeking to block attempts by two environmental groups to interfere with the operator’s Northeast Upgrade Project.  Specifically, Tennessee Gas seeks to preclude the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board from considering petitions and an appeal filed by the Delaware River Network and the Responsible Drilling Alliance.  Tennessee Gas seeks to prevent the groups from delaying construction of the 41-mile pipeline project, which would travel across New Jersey and Northeast Pennsylvania.  It argues that, because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved construction of the pipeline, the EHB is preempted from taking any action on the petitions and appeal, which are scheduled to be argued before the EHB on Jan. 14, 2013.  Pursuant to its contractual obligations, Tennessee Gas must complete the project by Nov. 1, 2013.