From the Morning Memo:

The Department of Environmental Conservation on Wednesday evening rejected a proposed pipeline to be constructed by Williams — a move that comes amid a broader fight over where New York will draw and generate its energy in the coming decades.

The pipeline, which would have carried natural gas to primarily the metropolitan region, was rejected “without prejudice” by environmental regulators, giving the company an opportunity to resubmit an altered proposal.

“As currently conceived in the application, construction of the NESE pipeline project is projected to result in water quality violations and fails to meet New York State’s rigorous water quality standards,” the DEC said in a statement Wednesday night.

“Specifically, construction of the proposed project would result in significant water quality impacts from the re-suspension of sediments and other contaminants, including mercury and copper. In addition, the proposed project would cause impacts to habitats due to the disturbance of shellfish beds and other benthic resources.”

Williams called the problems raised by the DEC “a minor technical issue” and plans to resubmit the application for a permit.

“Our team will be evaluating the issue and resubmitting the application quickly,” the company said. “We are confident that we can be responsive to this technical concern, meet our customer’s in-service date and avoid a moratorium that would have a devastating impact on the regional economy and environment.”

The rejection was a victory for environmental groups who have long opposed natural gas expansion efforts in New York and successfully pushed the state to ban high-volume hydrofracking in 2014. At the same time, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is backing efforts to shift the state to renewable energy sources in the coming decades.

“A sustained and inspired grassroots campaign pressured the Cuomo administration to stop this dangerous, unnecessary pipeline that would pose a serious risk to water quality in New York Harbor,” said Food & Water Watch organizer Laura Shindell.

“This decision is not the final word, and if Williams continues to push this dangerous project, the fight to stop this pipeline will continue. The DEC should reject the company’s attempt to re-submit this application.”

The Williams pipeline had been backed by the New York Business Council and labor unions like the New York AFL-CIO, which pointed to the economic benefit of the construction, including the creation of new jobs.

In a statement, the business lobby group urged the project to move forward.

“The Business Council urges the DEC to expeditiously move forward with the permitting process for the Williams pipeline,” said Business Council spokesman Patrick Bailey. “The importance of this project deserves a swift and judicious decision.”