Williams Transco Files Application with Feds to Build Controversial New Natural Gas Pipeline Through National Park Land

Jan 8th, 2013 | By Mark | Category: Lead Articles, NYC Natural Gas Infrastructure

NatGas Consulting

This map, submitted by Transco in connection with a recently filed application to build a new natural gas pipeline through National Park lands in New York City, shows the proposed route of the controversial project.

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.

Children play in the surf at Jacob Riis Park Beach, a historic ocean beach and Art Deco bathhouse, where Transco wants to build a massive new high-pressure natural gas pipeline through National Park land.

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.

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5 Comments to “Williams Transco Files Application with Feds to Build Controversial New Natural Gas Pipeline Through National Park Land”

  1. Vincent J. Granata says:

    If you folks alooe this to happen your way over your boundies as repesentives of the public.. you are not I repeat not listening we do not wish any gas driling nor pipelines anywhere ever.

  2. [...] 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. [...]

  3. Technically, the Rockaway Lateral Project as defined by Williams in FERC documents consists of the new 26 inch lateral from their existing pipe to the “tie in” on the Rockaway Peninsula with National Grid’s new 26 inch pipeline, the inlet and outlet pipelines into Floyd bennett Field and the Metering and Regulating Station proposed for the park. National Grid is set to construct two pipelines under the rockaway inlet next month to a vicinity near the historic hangars in Floyd bennett Field and later a 30 inch pipe that runs from the metering and regulating station to Avenue U.

    Williams paperwork also says that only 100,000dths of that 647,000dth capacity is actually incremental supply into the NYC area. My undertstanding of that statement is that the remaining 547,000dths of capacity does not represent new supply but rather redistribution or as Williams has put it “flexibility”.

    The legislation signed into law by President Obama gives the Secretary of the Interior the authority to issue permits for the pipeline rights of way under Jacob Riis and into Floyd Bennett Field, and the authority to negotiate a lease with Williams and National Grid so they may construct and operate their above ground 60, 000 square foot metering and regulating facility in historic hangar row in the park.

    Thanks for covering.

  4. [...] assured concerned state and federal regulators recently that the natural gas pipeline they propose to run through coastal wetlands and recreation areas near Coney Island faces only a small risk of being damaged by flooding in a similar natural [...]

  5. Daren Niklerog says:

    Meanwhile…Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman of FERC, resigned his post on May 28 and just recently announced that he will be joining the law firm of Stoel Rives. Stoel Rives looks like a champion of the environment on the surface, but they make the big bucks advising big financial institutions and oil and gas companies that have business before FERC.

    Gee, I wonder what they intend to use Wellinghoff for?

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