FREEHOLD, N.J., April 24, 2017 – Rutter & Roy represented Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) in a case involving Chesterfield Township’s refusal to issue building permits for construction of a compressor station, meter and regulating station and electrical substation. The work is part of the Garden State Expansion Project (Project) which, upon completion, will allow New Jersey Natural Gas – a local gas distribution company impacted by Hurricane Sandy – to access additional supplies of natural gas and provide enhanced service to customers in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
Rutter & Roy filed the lawsuit on Transco’s behalf on September 16, 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, seeking (1) a declaratory judgment holding that the Township’s laws and regulations are preempted by federal law and constitute an undue burden on interstate commerce; and (2) injunctive relief. Transco moved for summary judgement as to its claims for declaratory relief.
At the March 21, 2017 hearing on Transco’s motion, Judge Robert B. Kugler, U.S.D.J., ruled in the company’s favor, holding that all state and local laws and regulations that affect the siting, construction or operation of Transco’s Project are preempted by federal law and constitute an undue burden on interstate commerce. The court’s ruling effectively provides that the Township cannot interfere with the construction of the Project through application of state and local laws and regulations. On March 24, 2017, Transco received authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin construction in Chesterfield Township.