Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Notes from An InterAgency Discussion (FERC PF09-8)


The agency discussion consisted of:

1.) protected species and species of concern (northern star coral) and the
recovery from construction disturbance;
2.) cable sweep and the possible use of mid-line buoys to minimize impacts;
3.) relocation of the pipeline to the west to avoid the greatest concentration of
hard bottom habitat, which otherwise would likely be impacted by cable
sweep and anchor strikes;
4.) reestablishment of the seabed contours to minimize impacts on species such
as horseshoe crabs and surf clams;
5.)  modeling to predict how fast the trench would backfill and how resistant
the backfill material would be to subsequent scouring during storm events;
6.)  impacts on the Atlantic sturgeon due to the Rockaway peninsula,
particularly around the 10 meter depth contour, is an important aggregation
area for sturgeon in the spring and fall;
7.) impacts on year round recreational fishing and a few other fish species such
as winter and summer flounder. The NYS DEC said impacts on flounder
are usually mitigated by restricting construction to specific months. In the
case of winter flounder, offshore construction is generally prohibited
between early winter to early spring; and
8.)  a time period that is acceptable to all stakeholders may be a challenge. The
NYS DEC said it would probably be better for the Atlantic sturgeon if
construction occurred during the summer. There was also an
acknowledgement that the NPS would prefer construction in the fall to
minimize disruption of the public's use of the park. The NPS expressed
concern about the potential for construction related turbidity to impact
shallow water areas and beach-goers. The FWS would be concerned with
any activities that are proposed on the beach during the shorebird breeding
season.
9.)  The Army Corps of Engineers recommended that Transco submit with the
application a description explaining how they picked alternatives and how
impacts were avoided and minimized by the proposed route. Transco
should also provide data regarding the species that were discussed during
this meeting.

How many agencies does it take to.... say "hey, this pipeline might be a bad idea"? Too bad this isn't a joke. The only thing that will stop a pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area is an outcry by the people and conveniently enough, they haven't been invited to any meetings.

Reading FERC's elibrary on gas pipeline projects definitely not recommended bedttime reading.

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