Saturday, May 26, 2012

Public Scoping Period Opens on Rockaway Pipeline and the Metering and Regulating Station at Floyd Bennett Field

The image above shows the preferred metering and regulating station location choice and alternative sites in paperwork filed by Williams with FERC in June of 2009. If you look at that picture and are familiar with Floyd Bennett Field on a map you will see that none of the six original sites considered for the metering station were in historic hangars at the airfield and many were completely outside of Gateway park land. I have been using this image for my pipeline posts for that reason. In that 2009 paperwork by Williams, (just about three years ago, keep that time frame in mind), Williams spelled out the reasoning behind those original potential metering and regulating sites in their own words as follows:
"Beyond the impacts to NPS properties, potential issues regarding land cover, land uses and property ownership were evaluated for each meter and regulating station alternative. As the construction of a meter and regulating station would result in a given site being classified as a developed industrial use, consideration was given to alternatives in areas with high proportions of developed land."

"A key goal of the alternative evaluation process was to identify a potential site that, in being developed as a meter and regulating station, would retain the land use regime of the immediate area."

That was three years ago. Today you can go to the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers website (and you should go there) to read about the public scoping period opening as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gets ready to prepare an environmental impact statement on the Rockaway Pipeline and two important meetings to attend. You might notice that the scoping period for public comment will only last for the next 30 days. Yup. That's right. Public comment opens on May 25th and ends on June 25th. Williams and National Grid have been at this for the last three years and the public, which is still pretty uninformed about the project even being considered, has a mere month to make comment on potential environmental impacts in order to help the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission determine what issues they will evaluate in their environmental impact statement. Seriously?

Dan Mundy of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers has also quite kindly posted the whole FERC notice about this scoping period here. If you decide that you want to have some input on this project, the time to act is now. The meetings are:
June 12, 2012, 7-9pm  Aviator Sports, Floyd Bennett Field
June 13, 2012, 7-pm, Knights of Columbus, 333 Beach 90 St. (Rockaways)

There's another way you can act. Unlike other pipelines this particular one not only needs an environmental impact statement and approval by FERC, it also needs Congress to authorize it because it passes through land under the authority of the National Park System. The bill, H.R.2606, which will not only allow for the pipeline through Gateway, but also for the construction and operation of a new industrial facility at Floyd Bennett Field is currently with the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The committee members are listed here. The National Park subcommittee members are listed here. There's even an online contact form here where you could drop all the members a line at once letting them know what you think about this project and this bill and industrial uses of NPS land.

There's really no way to tell how far your voice will carry without using it. But you have to use it now because there is a clock and it's ticking and the bigger more powerful voices have already got three years on you. As the old tune goes, this land is yours after all and if you want to defend it, the time is now.

My Rockaway Gas Pipeline Project posts here

1 comment:

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