- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Federal regulators have rejected the Constitution Pipeline Company’s request to cut trees in New York along the proposed route of its 124-mile natural gas pipeline before a critical state permit is issued.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission notified the company Friday that it could begin tree-cutting in Pennsylvania, which has granted all necessary permits. New York regulators haven’t given a timetable for deciding on a water quality permit.

The pipeline would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania’s shale fields to upstate New York.

The company said tree-cutting must be done before the end of March to avoid harm to birds and bats during breeding season.

Constitution spokesman Christopher Stockton says the company is optimistic it will get necessary permits in time to complete the project by the end of the year.

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