Court: No environmental study needed for gas expansion plan

HARTFORD — The state Supreme Court has ruled that state officials did not violate state law when they approved a natural gas expansion plan in 2013 without studying potential environmental impacts.

Justices ruled 4-1 Thursday in a case brought by the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, which represents gasoline and heating fuel marketers.

The plan approved by environmental officials and utility regulators calls for expanding natural gas service to 300,000 more homes and building 900 miles of gas mains over the next decade. The association alleged state law requires an environmental impact evaluation before approval of such a plan.

The Supreme Court sided with state officials, who argued the plan did not constitute “actions which may significantly affect the environment” that are defined in state law and require an environmental impact study.