Issuing what appears to be the final nail in the coffin for opponents of the proposed natural gas Rockaway Pipeline Project, President Obama signed the New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act (H.R. 2606) this past Tuesday. Obama’s signature paves the way for the commencement of the project, which now only needs the approval of the Federal Energy Regulation Commission, according to a report by WYNC.
The proposed construction of the pipeline has faced fierce criticism from environmentalists who gathered thousands of signatures in opposition to the pipeline, and led dozens of protests.
The plan calls for a 3.17-mile pipeline connecting an existing line in the Atlantic through an underground path that cuts through the bottom of the Rockaways and Jamaica Bay to Floyd Bennett Field.
Chris Stockton, a representative of the Williams Companies, which is constructing the pipeline, promises that they will take great care in protecting Jamaica Bay telling WNYC that, “We’re not only burying it underground, but they put concrete mats over the pipe to make sure it doesn’t float to the surface, because you’re filling it with a gas. You want to make sure it doesn’t float.”
Environmentalists are concerned about the a meter and regulation station that will be built on Floyd Bennett Field. They warn that if another storm with Sandy’s power strikes the area, the field and station would be flooded.