Archive for the tag 'national grid'

Screenshot of shoddy sidewalk repair work from New 12 broadcast. (Source: News 12)

Screenshot of shoddy sidewalk repair work from New 12 broadcast. (Source: News 12)

A private contractor installed new gas pipes on behalf of National Grid about two months ago on a Midwood block, but residents say they’ve made a dangerous mess of the sidewalk.

According to a report by Brooklyn News 12, a subcontractor for the energy giant had to break open a sidewalk on East 2nd Street to install a gas line. But after the construction, the area was  left hazardous for children and residents, with potholes in the street, trip hazards on the sidewalk, and dust, rubble and debris littering the one-block stretch.

One neighbor is even saying his 5-year-old daughter’s asthma has worsened because of the dust.

National Grid, for its part, told News 12 “that the work is being performed by a subcontractor, and that National Grid crews are not doing any work at the location.” There was no response from the contractor, Hallen Construction.

According to city regulations, utility companies who tear up streets and sidewalks to maintain infrastructure are responsible for repairing the property. But a lack of oversight and site inspections has allowed contractors and subcontractors to get away with shoddy work.

We’ve written about the issue before, even when it included contractors hired directly by the city. Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo has previously called for more oversight, saying that she regularly receives calls from across the neighborhood about such issues. Scavo even brought the issue straight to then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he made a rare local appearance in 2011.

Source: Williams

The controversial natural gas pipeline, proposed to run underneath the Rockaways, through Jamaica Bay, and into Floyd Bennett Field National Park, has been plodding along the approval process for several months, with the latest news being the issuance of an apparently favorable draft statement by the federal government.

(Read our ongoing coverage of the Jamaica Bay pipeline.)

The Rockaway Wave reported last week on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project, an offshoot of Williams’ Transcontinental Gas Pipeline (Transco):

In its draft EIS, [the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC)] gave a favorable report for Transco and came to a conclusion that the environmental impact wouldn’t be so bad. The “construction and operation of the Projects would result in limited adverse environmental impacts that would mostly occur during construction,” the EIS said. Overall it says that the limited adverse impacts “would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Transco’s proposed mitigation and the additional measures recommended in the draft EIS.”

Critics, though, remain unswayed, saying that the agency has been too lenient in its review of the research, which was provided by Williams, and say more information should be required:

While Williams is pleased with the report, environmentalists are not satisfied. Dan Mundy, president of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers says the “report downplays the significance of the environmental impacts.” Mundy explained concerns over the fact that Transco hasn’t stated exactly what fluids will be involved with the project, which is significant as they will likely wind up in the water and may affect marine life. He also says that the company hasn’t released a modeling report which would show where sediments would go when the company trenches the ocean to install the pipeline. Mundy explains that sediment could impact an important artificial reef off the coast of Rockaway. Transco has been asked to release the sediment report for several months.

“The EIS report, as it’s done right now, is downplaying that significant impact and we’re concerned by that,” Mundy said. “It doesn’t include critical data.” He went on to say that the project should be put on hold. If it does go through and causes the mentioned environmental impacts, Mundy hopes the company considers restoring the areas that are impacted.

FERC didn’t give it all a free pass, though. The agency is recommending additional mitigation measures to reduce impacts on wildlife, habitat, and the historic character of the Floyd Bennett Field hangars that will be used in the project. The agency is proposing the requirement of 27 site-specific mitigation measures if the project goes forward.

The draft report can be found on the FERC website.

The agency is holding two public hearings to hear concerns about the project. The first will be held Tuesday, October 22, at 7:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Rockaway Council 267 (333 Beach 90th Street, Rockaway Beach). The second will be held Wednesday, October 23, at 7:00 p.m. at Aviator Sports & Events Center in Floyd Bennett Field (3159 Flatbush Avenue).

Additionally, comments can be made electronically through the eComment or eFiling features of the website under “Documents and Filings.” When writing a comment, refer to docket number CP13-36-000 for the Rockaway Project. Written comments can also be sent to Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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.

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.

The following is a press release from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden. We have asked that, if he gets a strong response, he also deploy these volunteers to the bungalows and coops around Emmons Avenue, many of which are still without power, heat or hot water.

State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is calling on all New York City licensed electricians and plumbers to help the residents of Brooklyn’s Gerritsen Beach, who are still without electricity and gas, more than a week after Hurricane Sandy, by volunteering to complete the simplified turn-on request process announced this morning.

Senator Golden is inviting all plumbers and electricians to answer the call to help by contacting the Gerritsen Beach Volunteer Fire Department at (718) 332-9292 or visit the Vollies starting today at 43 Seba Avenue. Senator Golden is noting that almost every home needs such inspections so there is a great and urgent need for these licensed professionals.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “A process has been set up so that homeowners can have their homes inspected so to restore electrical and gas service so that we can turn the lights on and the heat on. The people of Gerritsen Beach need the help of our City and I am asking anyone who has time and would be willing to help their fellow New Yorkers in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, to come forward and assist at this time.”

Senator Golden has also received and will be distributing documents from the New York City Department of Buildings and Con Edison that outlines the process residents must take in getting back into your homes.

For more information, contact Senator Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044 or email at golden@nysenate.gov.

Following our post earlier today about the need to have a licensed electrician or plumber certify to the city that your private property could safely handle a restoration of service, we heard a lot of grumbling that the process isn’t clear-cut enough and people are having trouble getting it done. Chaim Deutsch, of the Flatbush Shomrim and Councilman Nelson’s office, sent us the following Con Ed flier being distributed throughout the neighborhood, intended to ease the process.

A simplified process for turn-on requests will speed service restoration to buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Because flood waters and winds can damage privately-owned electric and gas equipment, New York City Building Code requires a licensed electrician or plumber to certify that systems can be energized. This process is coordinated through the NYC Department of Buildings. While we recover from the hurricane, building owners can file a Self Certification Form directly with utilities to restore service faster.

Here are three steps to self-certify:

1. Get your energy equipment inspected, cleaned, and repaired by a licensed contractor.
2. Have your contractor download and complete a Self Certification Form (See links below).

3. E-mail your Self Certification Form to:

Self Certification forms are also available in Customer Outreach vans in communities most affected by flooding. Staff will also accept completed forms.

A service turn-on will be scheduled once the certification form is received.

Questions? Contact Con Edison Energy Services, seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

  • Brooklyn 718-802-6349
  • Manhattan 212-780-3136
  • Queens 718-802-6322
  • Staten Island 718-390-6373 or 718-390-6387

All other service restoration requests will require standard NYC Department of Buildings certification filings.

For issues related to your gas service, call National Grid at 718-643-4050.

A red-tagged home in one of Emmons Avenue’s waterfront bungalow colonies.

It’s clear to anyone who has been paying attention that power restoration has drastically slowed down since the first few days following Hurricane Sandy. Part of that is because, as Con Edison turned on power, fires were breaking out throughout the neighborhood as energy surged into flooded circuit breakers or sparked gas leaks.

(UPDATE: Con Ed has released a “simplified” certification process to get power on quicker.)

For residents’ safety and the safety of first responders, the city is now requiring the homeowners get their electricity and gas systems inspected before they restore services. Department of Buildings inspectors are also making the rounds, tagging flooded homes in Zone A with stickers that indicate whether the home can be reoccupied. We’ve already seen several in the Plumb Beach bungalow colonies that have been deemed unusable.

Here’s the rundown of what the Department of Buildings is doing, and what you need to do before you can have power or gas restored:

Continue Reading »

Source: Geoffrey Croft via awalkintheparknyc.blogspot.com

The following is a press release issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and state Department of Health have lifted the boating advisory in Paerdegat Basin in Brooklyn that was in place since the oil spill that led to discharges into the Basin while National Grid was plugging a decommissioned underground gas pipeline.

The agencies continue to advise the public to avoid eating any fish or crabs from Paerdegat Basin in Brooklyn and 200 yards from the mouth of Paerdegat Basin in a small portion of Jamaica Bay as a precaution until further notice. The public is also reminded that all New York City waters are closed to shellfishing (harvest of clams, mussels, oysters or scallops).

An environmental investigation is underway to determine if there is residual contamination in the Basin. To date, National Grid has performed preliminary testing of the Basin’s surface water, and sampling data indicates there are no PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in the water. DEC will verify the data in the coming weeks.

As part of the clean-up efforts, National Grid conducted an initial cleaning of boats impacted by the spill. DEC is currently evaluating the results of that cleaning to determine what further actions are needed to assure the vessels meet criteria for decontamination. National Grid also flushed the storm sewer line, cleaned the street and removed spilled condensate from the manhole.

National Grid will submit a draft workplan next week to DEC outlining a schedule for sampling basin sediments, biota and upland soil. Once DEC approves the plan, the company will be responsible for collecting and analyzing necessary samples. The results of the sampling performed under the workplan will determine whether any additional remediation is required. A timeline will be included in the workplan.

DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are currently reviewing a plan by National Grid to clean out the remainder of the pipe that was not filled with concrete when the incident occurred.

Source: Geoffrey Croft via awalkintheparknyc.blogspot.com

When we first broke the story about the Paerdegat Basin oil spill, in which an estimated 800 to 1,400 gallons of natural gas condensate, compressor oil and turbine oil poured into the waters near Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, info was scarce. Representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Environmental Conservation told us the spill had happened while an old pipe was being capped, but how the oil got into the water remained unclear. The company responsible for the spill, National Grid, did not respond to requests for comment.

National Grid has now weighed in, issuing a press release late last week that indicated the spill actually happened on land. Firefighters responding to complaints of a smell of natural gas in the neighborhood, created by the release of mercaptan, an additive that gives the gas its odor, arrived at the scene and flushed the oil and residue from the ground and into storm drains, which flowed into Paerdegat Basin.

Keep reading and see how what National Grid had to say.

Source: Geoffrey Croft via awalkintheparknyc.blogspot.com

National Grid is expected to wrap up decontamination operations of last week’s gas and oil spill by the end of this weekend, while authorities note that the problem may be worse than originally expected.

A test of the oil that gushed from an old National Grid pipe found a PCB level of 10,000 ppm, 200 times the acceptable level and high enough to be deemed hazardous waste, a Department of Environmental Conservation bulletin notes. The sample was taken directly from the oil and not from areas where it has mixed with Jamaica Bay’s protected waters, where the concentration would have been diluted.

PCBs are a cancer-causing toxin.

The unusually high PCB level is due to the fact that the defunct pipe held old oil and gas from a different regulatory era, not the cleaner compounds circulating in National Grid’s active pipes.

Samples have not yet been tested from Paerdegat Basin – the site of the spill – itself, but the state Department of Health will review data on contaminant levels in the water and sediment to determine long-term effects on fish and wildlife. The DEC will conduct an investigation once cleanup is completed.

National Grid is also working with DEC and the Coast Guard to clean any boats and structures that have been contaminated by the spill.

The company led a tour of the area for local politicians including City Councilman Lew Fidler, who is skeptical of the company’s evaluation of the damage.

“You never take the word of the person who did it for how bad (it is),” Fidler told the Daily News. “I know it’s not on the level of the Exxon-Mobil spill, but if it’s in your neighborhood it sure feels like it.”

The spill was reported to authorities at 1:30 a.m. on September 28. National Grid was capping the unused pipe by injecting it with a cement slurry, but something went wrong and between 800 and 1,400 gallons of natural gas condensate, compressor oil and turbine oil poured into Paerdegat Basin, part of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

National Grid and the Williams Company are currently seeking the government’s permission to build a natural gas pipeline underneath Jamaica Bay, with a metering station in Floyd Bennett Field’s hangars. The proposal has already received the green light from federal legislators and is currently under review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

However, environmentalists say National Grid and Williams both have a history of accidents like this and the plan should be blocked in favor of protecting the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a national park.

The DEC and Coast Guard are advising the public to avoid recreational boating and fishing near Paerdegat Basin. They also say to avoid consuming fish and shellfish from the area’s waters.

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