Archive for the tag 'gas'

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The company seeking to run a gas pipeline under Floyd Bennett Field and build a meter and regulating station in a historic airplane hangar there commissioned a report that found a .2 percent chance the planned facility would be flooded, even amid rising sea levels.

The Williams Transco pipeline company’s report came in response to an April 4 letter from the New York Department of State seeking reassurance that the station couldn’t be breeched after the Federal Emergency Management Agency updated its flood maps, post-Hurricane Sandy.

“Infrastructure in general was severely impacted by Sandy and NYDOS would not be adequately addressing coastal policies if we did not try to ensure that new infrastructure projects were able to withstand coastal impacts, including flooding,” Laz Benitez, an NYDOS spokesman said in an email.

Keep reading to find out Transco’s response.

Photo by Lenny Markh

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Lew Fidler:

City Councilman Lew Fidler is proud to announce that the City Council unanimously voted, at their Stated Meeting yesterday, to approve his bill requiring gas stations to clearly display, on roadside signs, all of the prices they charge – no matter if a customer uses cash or credit.

Under State law, gas stations are not allowed to charge extra when customers choose to pay by credit card rather than cash. Yet, throughout the City, gas stations have skirted this by instead offering a ‘cash discount.’ Even worse, the roadside signs used by these gas stations often displayed only the cash price. The higher price for credit card purchases, which most of their customers were likely paying, was generally left off the sign entirely. Only the word ‘cash,’ sometimes hidden in tiny letters, was there to warn drivers that they might end up paying more.

“This is a loophole the size of a truck,” said Councilman Fidler. “You can call this a legal fiction or a distinction without a difference, but either way, New Yorkers just call it absurd. By the time you park your car next to the pump it’s too late to be told what the actual price you’ll be paying is. Gas is too expensive already for us to allow gimmicks and tricks to make it cost even more. Drivers need to know what the price is when they’re driving by, so they can decide where to take their business. It’s basic transparency and it’s basic consumer protection.”

Councilman Fidler’s bill will now require that all gas stations in the City of New York display all of the gas prices they charge, on required roadside signs. Stations that charge the same price for all forms of payment would only have to display the one price, while those that differentiate prices would have to post every one of their different prices. The bill also requires that clear lettering and wording be used for these prices, so drivers with only a second to glance at the signs can easily read them.

“This bill will give drivers the information they need,” Fidler said. “And, with information comes power – the power to be an informed shopper and, hopefully, the power to create some small measure of price competition between gas stations. If gas stations want to offer discounts they still can – but it has to be done openly and without hiding the price that most of their customers will be paying.”

Councilman Fidler expressed his thanks to Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Dan Garodnick, Chairman of the Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs, as well as to all of his Council colleagues for their support for his bill.

“Sometimes you get an opportunity to do something about a problem that just gnaws at the innards of New Yorkers. I know this was one of those for many of us and I am sure that we will be happier to see this bait and switch tactic vanish once and for all,” Councilman Fidler added.

The Mayor is expected to sign the bill next week, and it will take effect 120 days after being signed into law.

Source: Spoonchen / Flickr

State Senator Marty Golden is cosponsoring legislation that he believes would end the long lines for gasoline we saw following the events of Superstorm Sandy.

The proposed legislation would provide tax credits upwards of $15,000 for gas stations and other convenience stores for the purchase of generators that would keep stations running in the event of another mass power outage.

According to the press release, commercial-sized generators cost between $5,000 to $30,000 to purchase and install and cost an additional $8,000 a year to operate and maintain.

There are over 7,200 gas service stations in New York, and half of those are located in the city alone. Golden wants to ensure that when the power goes out for whatever reason, people will be able to refuel easily.

“A common sense solution like this will prevent the long lines, the arguments and give people peace of mind, knowing they will be able to get gas and subsequently travel,” Golden said.

Source: Williams

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.”

Source: Spoonchen / Flickr

Mayor Bloomberg announced that the alternating odd-even licence plate system of buying gas will remain in place through Friday, according to a report in the New York Post.

The extension was enacted because 30 percent of the city’s gas stations are still closed. The mayor hopes to avoid long lines at the pump during the expected surge of motorists traveling during the holidays.

The gas rationing plan, which has been in effect since November 9, has already ended in New Jersey and Long Island.

 

At 6:00 a.m. today, New York City joined New Jersey in instituting an Odd-Even License Plate System for gas purchases in an attempt to reduce long lines at gas-starved pumps.

Vehicles with license plates ending in an even number or zero shall only purchase fuel in NYC on even numbered days of the month. Passenger automobiles with license plates ending in an odd number shall only purchase fuel in NYC on odd numbered days of the month. License plates not ending in a number shall be deemed an odd number license plate.

This system will continue until further notice.

To help find functioning and stocked gas stations, you can use this map of Sandy-related initiatives, including gas stations, food distribution points, shelters, volunteer locations, etc. Similarly, there’s GasBuddy.com, and Hess has been updating its website with location and inventory information every two hours.

Do you think the odd-even system will help you get gas?

I know, I know – you’re all tired of hearing about last week’s National Grid gas outage along Ocean Parkway in Gravesend. And, after sounding off about the lack of coverage in other media, I thought we were pretty much done with it, too.

But, apparently, one more entity wants to make sure their voice is heard on the matter: National Grid itself.

The company produced a video on YouTube to help visualize the tremendous amount of resources deployed, not the least of which was 300 crews working around the clock for most of the week. It also shows some of the on-site and off-site planning and logistics that went into the effort. Clearly, it must have been an exceptional operation for National Grid to go out of their way to showcase it.

How do you think National Grid did in responding to the Ocean Parkway gas outage?

National Grid natural gas began pumping through all the Gravesend pipelines on Saturday, after workers finished pumping out 50,000 gallons of water. It capped off a five-day ordeal for 1,200 households forced to go without hot water and other amenities.

The company will now begin refilling the 160 excavation sites they dug throughout the neighborhood.

On Sunday, they issued the following press release announcing the restoration of service, and thanking the community for their cooperation:

As of Saturday, all customers affected by the Gravesend natural gas outage have been contacted to have their appliances re-lit. All have been visited for re-lights, 93 percent have been restored, National Grid is coordinating around the customers’ schedules and working with plumbers on a few sites to safely restore the remaining locations.

The extensive restoration effort involved purging over 50,000 gallons of water from about four miles of gas main spanning an area of 46 blocks after a high-pressure water main leak sent thousands of gallons of water into the local gas system.

Over 300 crews have worked around-the-clock since the outage began. The crews have dug over 160 excavations to support the water pumping effort. Some of the excavations will remain open for a period in order for National Grid to monitor that additional pumping is not required. These excavations around the neighborhood are clearly marked, but National Grid urges residents to be extra aware of their surroundings and use caution, especially at night.

Once all repairs are permanent the excavations will be filled and roads and sidewalks will be restored and paved. In addition, over the next several weeks the company will continue to have trucks and crews in the area completing work to restore the gas system to normal operation.

Customers should call National Grid at 718-643-4050 if they have any questions or additional service needs.

“We can’t thank the community enough for their cooperation and appreciate their patience as we complete the remaining service re-lights,” said Robert DeMarinis, National Grid vice president, New York Gas. “We will continue to work in and with the community on the permanent restoration effort in the coming weeks.”

We got an e-mail from National Grid yesterday afternoon informing us that service is now available to 100 percent of the area along Ocean Parkway that has been without gas since Tuesday.

The company completed pumping 46,000 gallons of water out of flooded gas pipes and reopened the lines in full yesterday. By the afternoon, National Grid had visited 900 of the 1,200 households affected to turn the gas back on and relight appliances.

They continued to make the rounds to the remaining 300 households, only needing access to the homes from the landlord to relight it.

Natural gas service to 1,200 Gravesend homes was cut after a high-pressure water main leak on Ocean Parkway and Avenue U erupted on Tuesday. Thousands of gallons of water gushed into a 12-inch low-pressure National Grid gas main.

UPDATE (5:33 p.m.): Here’s the latest from National Grid. Looks like they may theoretically restore 100 percent service today after all, assuming they can access the homes:

More than 50 percent have been restored (about 600 meters).

An additional 20 percent (about 200 meters) are available for re-light once we have access to the homes.  We are contacting customers and leaving a note to let them know that we need access to their homes to re-light the appliances.

Restoration efforts continue, we are pumping water out of the remaining sections of the gas main so that we can make the remaining 30 percent (400 meters) available for re-light by the end of the day.  So far more than 32,000 gallons of water have been removed from the system.

We will be onsite over the weekend to continue to re-light customers based on their availability.

Original post:

National Grid’s spokesperson Karen Young just got in touch with us with an update on the Ocean Parkway natural gas situation. She writes:

Since the last update, we restored service to 40 percent and we’re in the process of re-lighting another 20 percent as access to the homes becomes available. We have pumped out approximately 32,000 gallons of water.  Crews continue to work hard today.

Natural gas service to 1,200 Gravesend homes was cut after a high-pressure water main leak on Ocean Parkway and Avenue U erupted on Tuesday. Thousands of gallons of water gushed into a 12-inch low-pressure National Grid gas main, and workers must go door-to-door to relight appliances.

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