The reality of the proposed Rockaways natural gas pipeline project came one step closer to fruition this week as Williams Transco, the company looking to build it, officially filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin the project, according to a report by Natural Gas Watch.
As we’ve previously reported, opposition to the pipeline was heated, but federal legislation signed by President Obama last month made it legal for companies like Williams Transco to do construction in Gateway National Recreational Area, a federal parkland that includes Floyd Bennett Field. The filing is only the latest formal action; Williams has been providing FERC with pre-filing reports and documentation for several years – and locals have been filing statements of opposition, too.
The pipeline, officially known as the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project, is set to run through the Jamaica Bay wetlands, underneath Jacob Riis Park and ending at Floyd Bennett Field where a new meter and regulating station will be built in two of the park’s historic hangars.
Environmentalists and local residents have voiced opposition to the project due to fears of the proposed new regulating station at Floyd Bennett Field being flooded in the event of another storm like Hurricane Sandy, as well as other safety, environmental and security concerns.
Williams Transco claims that the pipeline will provide much needed extra energy to New York and “supply flexibility and increased capacity to meet future incremental demand growth.”