Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Do You See What I See? (Say No to HR 2606, take three)

Grass, Floyd Bennett Field, Gateway National Recreational Area

How about a photo from someone other than me? Here's one from the MTA's Bridges and Tunnels Flickr page of the Marine Parkway Bridge/ Gil Hodges Memorial (and Floyd Bennett Field across the water)


The Marine Parkway Bridge-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, as seen from above.
 Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin (click on picture or here for MTA flickr page)

I should not have to tell anyone that we need to defend Floyd Bennett Field and Gateway National Recreation Area from the construction of a new industrial facility. This part of New York City is already supposed to be protected by the National Park Service. That protected status is now in jeapardy due to HR 2606 and both the new gas pipeline and the metering and regulating station proposed for construction and operation at Floyd Bennett Field.

You can look at Floyd Bennett Field and only see a place that needs to be developed. You can see only dilapidated buildings, left over from a history of aviation or naval activity. Or you can look at Floyd Bennett Field, part of Gateway National Recreation Area from above and see it as a great big chunk of green space in a dense city. You can see it as a link in a Wildlife/Recreational/Open Space/Corridor that connects Jamiaca Bay Wildlife Refuge to Breezy Point or Sheepshead Bay. You can choose to see this place for what it already is, something unique and irreplaceable.

If a Metering and Regulating Station, industrial infrastructure, can be built here in this supposedly protected park, then one could argue that a similar industrial facility could be built in any park in New York City or on any NPS land. Maybe next time it will be Central Park or Prospect Park.

Here's a revisit of Williams own language in their 2009 Draft when considering their original metering and regulating station choice and alternatives for this pipeline project:

"The five remaining meter and regulating station alternatives are on properties owned by either the NPS or the NYCPR. The construction of a meter and regulating station on any of theses sites would change the use of the property from recreational to industrial land use and be outside the stated purposes for NPS and NYCPR properties. Also, Meter and Regulating Station Alternatives 3, 4, and 5 are all on property within an active golf course (Marine Park Golf Course) and the development of a meter and regulating station on these sites could result in negative impacts to golfers during both construction and operation of the facility."

Interesting. Metering and Regulating station construction and operation apparently can negatively impact golfers, but we are supposed to believe that when it comes to Gateway and Floyd Bennett Field, it's a plus? Our park already has a purpose and that purpose is not industrial.

FERC's public scoping period for their draft environmental impact statement on the Gateway pipeline just ended. You  might have missed the notice about it if you just read the newspaper. How many projects do you think FERC says no to? No matter what FERC approves or does not approve, this project can only be built if special legislation is passed authorizing it. That legislation is HR 2606 and it currently sits with the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources committee.

Some contacts:

Senator Charles Schumer:https://www.schumer.senate.gov/Contact/contact_chuck.cfm
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-6542
Fax: 202-228-3027

Senator Gillibrand http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/
DC Address: The Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senate
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3203
DC Phone: 202-224-4451
DC Fax: 202-228-0282

Linda Canzanelli, Gateway National Recreation Area Superintendent :
Gateway National Recreation Area
210 New York AvenueStaten Island, New York 10305

Public Affairs Office (Headquarters)
(718) 354 – 4606


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