Williams Transco Files Application with Feds to Build Controversial New Natural Gas Pipeline Through National Park LandJan 8th, 2013 | By Mark | Category: Lead Articles, NYC Natural Gas Infrastructure
The Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company, a division of Williams Partners LP, filed an application yesterday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking permission to build a controversial new natural gas distribution pipeline through national park land to bring additional natural gas supply into New York City.
Known as the Rockaway Lateral Line, the proposed 26-inch, high-pressure natural gas pipeline would run across wetlands in Jamaica Bay, through Jacob Riis Park beach and Floyd Bennett Field – where a new compressor station would be built – and on into Brooklyn near Flatbush Ave.
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Both Bennett Field and Riis Park Beach are national park land and part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, a 26,000-acre park that comprises parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Before Transco could seek permission to build the new pipeline, federal legislation had to be passed allowing the pipeline to be built on National Park property. That legislation, HR2606, was approved by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Barack Obama on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.
According to the Transco application, most of the new 3.2 miles of proposed pipeline will be located offshore.
From Transco application:
The proposed 3.20-mile, 26-inch lateral will consist of approximately 2.84 miles of offshore pipeline and approximately 0.36 miles of onshore pipeline. Under Transco’s preferred route, the majority of the onshore pipeline will be located beneath Gateway National Recreation Area. Transco’s proposed lateral will interconnect with a 26-inch lateral pipeline being constructed by National Grid. The tie-in with National Grid will be located on the Rockaway Peninsula, on Tri-Borough Bridge and Tunnel Authority property. Transco’s proposed meter station will be located downstream of the tie-in with National Grid, at Floyd Bennett Field within the Gateway National Recreation Area.
According to the application, Transco has already signed contracts with the Brooklyn Union Gas Company and the KeySpan Gas East Corporation. to supply nearly 650,000 dekatherms of gas per day via the new pipeline, and expects to have the new pipeline online and delivering product no later than Nov. 1, 2014. A dekatherm represents an amount of natural gas equal to 1 million British Thermal Units (BTUs).
In connection with their application, Transco executives issued a statement saying the new pipeline would provide much-needed additional supply to New York City, creating both “supply flexibility and increased capacity to meet future incremental demand growth.”
However, opposition to the pipeline continues to grow. Already, opponents have gathered thousands of signatures from individuals who oppose the pipeline’s construction.
“It is too late to the stop the bill from being passed. It’s not too late to show opposition to the project,” said Jonathan Fluck, a spokesperson for the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline, told the Sheephead Bites newsblog recently.