Jamaica Bay Pipeline Source: Williams
After months of protests, legal wrangling and more last-minute protests, the controversial Jamaica Bay Pipeline project is now in construction. According to a report by Gotham Gazette, construction on the 1.6 mile pipeline that stretches underneath Jacob Riis Park and ends at a meter and regulating station positioned at Floyd Bennett Field is now officially underway, much to the consternation of opponents who believe the pipeline could pose an environmental hazard.
While officials at National Grid have stated that the actual drilling has yet to commence, preparatory work for construction has already begun. Eventually, National Grid will connect the pipeline to the planned gas meter and regulating station located in a hanger at Floyd Bennett Field. The gas lines will service customers in Brooklyn and Queens. The project links the National Grid delivery system with Transco Williams’s offshore feeder.
While environmentalists have protested the pipeline, citing potential harm to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, local animal life and danger to residents from potential hazards, as well as industrializing a national park, National Grid promised that the line would actually be good for the environment.
“Each conversion is equivalent to taking 15 cars off the road for a year,” the Gotham Gazette reported the company saying.
The first phase of the construction effort is expected to be completed by May.
We’ve extensively covered the evolution of the proposed Jamaica Bay Pipeline, a project which would run a natural gas line through the Jamaica Bay wetlands, underneath Jacob Riis Park and ending at Floyd Bennett Field, where a meter and regulating station will be placed in a hangar, and connected to the National Grid infrastructure. While the legality of the pipeline is no longer in question, Williams Transco, the company looking to build the pipeline, must get the approval from the New York State Coastal Management Program (NYS CMP) before its application can be processed. The Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline (CARP) is imploring readers to submit comments before tomorrow to the NYS CMP to stop the project before it gets underway.
CARP published a list of its own comments that they are submitting to the NYS CMP, expressing their belief that the pipeline represents a dangerous hazard to both residents living near the areas it cuts through and to the environment. One particularly nasty comment submitted by CARP points to the potential radioactivity of the project.
The gas carried in the pipeline will be radioactive. Shale gas from the Marcellus has extremely high levels of radon, the second highest cause of lung cancer in the US.
Scary stuff. To read the full list of complaints CARP has against the proposed pipeline , you can visit CARP’s website by clicking here.
The deadline to submit comments is March 15 and if you’d like to send one, email email@example.com.
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.”
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.
Source: Anne F.
This photo was snapped by a reader who writes:
I snapped this photo on Friday. I’m standing on the cement path leading up to the beach and I’m looking back at the Riis Park paring lot filled with debris from homes destroyed by Sandy.
The mountain of waste stands as an ominous reminder of everything that people lost. In many cases, it was everything. No plans have been revealed as to where the city plans to dispose of the excess garbage, which was once prized by its owners.
The proposed placement of natural gas pipelines from Williams and National Grid. Source: Williams
According to the legislative calendar for the House of Representatives, H.R. 2606, better known as the New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act or the Jamaica Bay pipeline, is set to be voted on today. After the area where the pipeline will be installed was badly damaged due to Sandy, advocates against the pipeline warn that a major storm could happen again, and with the pipeline there the consequences could be far worse than ever before.
The proposed construction of this pipeline has been marred by dozens of protests and thousands of anti-pipeline petition signatures. Now that they’ve seen Sandy’s aftermath, advocates against the pipeline have added another reason not to ahead with construction to their list.
The Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline (CARP) writes:
It’s complete insanity to build a high-pressure gas pipeline and metering station in an area that has just been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, and will REGULARLY experience such events, or worse, in the decades to come. We don’t need this gas — we need to stop climate change and switch to renewables.
This bill permits construction of a gas pipeline in a national park – right next to a wildlife refuge that is home to a dozen endangered and threatened species; right under a public beach that is used by thousands of New Yorkers every year; and right by the largest community garden on the East Coast.
In the wake of the Hurricane Sandy stopping this bill is imperative. The bill authorizes construction of a high-pressure gas pipeline and metering station in an area that has just experienced major flooding and fire – and will do so again as the oceans rise because of climate change. Thousands of lives could be jeopardized in the event of another hurricane or storm surge.
They urge others to join them in their opposition of the pipeline by calling local congressmembers Tuesday morning and telling them to vote “no” on H.R. 2606.
You can find your congressperson’s Washington number by going here.
CARP members collecting petitions at Riis Park.
We reported on Monday about the United States Senate giving the green light to H.R. 2606, clearing one of the last major hurdles to the installation of a natural gas pipeline underneath Jamaica Bay, complete with a metering station within the historic hangars at Floyd Bennett Field.
The plan’s opponents, the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline, issued the following statement blasting the Senate’s decision and stating plans to take their case all the way up to President Barack Obama.
The Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline (CARP) is outraged that both houses of Congress have now quietly approved legislation to permit a natural-gas pipeline and a metering-and-regulation facility to be built in Gateway National Recreation Area in Brooklyn and Queens. H.R. 2606, which alters a 1972 law that has long protected the federal park from any uses other than recreation or conservation, was passed by the U.S. Senate on Sept. 21st without adequate public review. The alienation of a piece of Gateway, historic hangars in Floyd Bennett Field for industrial use, has never been properly addressed by legislators or the National Park Service and the public has been consistently left out of the democratic and decision-making process.
In less than two months, CARP has collected 5000 signatures against this legislation, the greatest bulk from beach goers, families and park users, who were both unaware of and unsupportive of this use the park. 9 million people use Gateway National Recreation Area, one of America’s most used and oldest urban national parks in the densest urban environment in the country.
CARP will continue to fight this misuse of Floyd Bennett Field, which features historic aircraft hangars, heavily used recreation facilities, hiking trails, camping and one of New York State’s oldest and largest community gardens and the Jamaica Bay Unit, home to popular beach and waterfront areas and the only wildlife refuge accessable by subway and bus. We will appeal to President Obama, whose Great Outdoors initiative promotes connecting Americans with the outdoors and partnering with local stakeholders to best gauge the needs of the community. We will ask Obama to veto this bill because it does not represent a government that is transparant, collaborative and participatory.
The Jamaica Bay Natural Gas Pipeline is nearly a done deal. Legislation permitting the construction of the pipeline has passed the U.S. Senate, removing one of the last major roadblocks to its construction.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg released this statement following the news that the H.R.2606 plan will move forward:
The legislation passed this morning in the U.S. Senate is not just about the construction and operation of a natural gas pipeline and the jobs it will create – it is critical to building a stable, clean-energy future for New York City and improving the health of all New Yorkers. I want to thank Senator Schumer who sponsored this important legislation as well as Senators Bingaman and Murkowski who helped make passage possible. I would also like to acknowledge the important role of the National Park Service in this process and look forward to the members of the House re-passing this bill when they return in November.
In previous articles, we’ve noted how clandestine the whole operation has been, and it seems the same can be said of the news that it is happening.
Throughout the course of the entire situation, activists and residents have come forward to ensure that their opposition to the pipeline – which would run under the Atlantic Ocean, cutting through the Rockaways and into southeast Brooklyn - was heard.
The $265 million project was endorsed by the Bloomberg Administration as a means of creating jobs and clean energy.
The bill will go back to the House when the legislative session resumes in November for approval of any changes. The final hurdle will be cleared once the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which reviews and authorizes natural gas pipelines, greenlights the project.
Activists have been collecting petition signatures against the pipeline at Riis Park in the Rockaways.
We’ve been covering the development and ramifications of the proposed Jamaica Bay Natural Gas Pipeline since this past April, and it seems that the New York Times has finally picked up on the story as well.
The Times’ Stuart Miller summarizes the history of the pipeline’s almost clandestine construction and development process. The deal for the pipeline, which would run under the Atlantic Ocean, then cutting through the Rockaways into southeast Brooklyn, has met stiff opposition from both environmentalists and residents residing near its zones of impact.
The major concerns against the pipeline’s construction, covered here and in the times, highlight the fear of explosions, fires, and health risks in densely populated areas, and the potential damage to the fragile ecosystems of Jamaica Bay, Brooklyn’s largest national parkland. The proposal to use Floyd Bennett Field’s historic hangars has raised concerns that it will open all national parks for industrial uses. Transco Williams, the firm put in charge of this development, has had a spotty safety record in recent years having suffered explosions in pipelines across the country.
The $265 million dollar project was pushed through and endorsed by the Bloomberg administration, in an effort to promote cleaner energy alternatives to oil, bring in $8 million dollars annually in property taxes, and create jobs.