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Bath Petroleum Storage, Inc. v. Sovas

ELR Citation: 30 ELR 20255
Nos. No. 98-CV-347(LEK/RWS), 78 F. Supp. 2d 67/(N.D.N.Y., 01/10/2000)

The court holds that it lacks jurisdiction to review an underground natural gas storage facility's injunctive and declaratory relief action challenging a state environmental agency's permit modification requirements. The facility sought to increase its storage capacity by including natural gas through an agreement with a gas pipeline company, but the agency denied the permit because the facility's application was incomplete absent additional information. In addition, the agency required the proposed storage caverns to be subject to various requirements, including sonar testing. The court first holds that it lacks jurisdiction because there is no live case or controversy. There is currently no transaction being impeded by state regulatory action, and any potential conflict between state and federal agencies was mooted by a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denial of the application by the facility's lessee for expansion of the caverns. Moreover, any harm that the facility envisions arises from a speculative future conversion of the caverns to natural gas storage.

The full text of this decision is available from ELR (3 pp., ELR Order No. L-157).

[Counsel not available at this printing.]