Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Rockaway Pipeline Again in the News

Picture from a flyer against the Rockaway Pipeline

I love that picture above that I took from Gateway National Recreation Area's facebook page. It's the kids of the past (circa 1970's), campers at Floyd Bennett Field's Ecology Village, looking out at you. It could be the kids of today and it could be the kids of the future. It's a fitting picture because Gateways purpose, the words of its enabling legislation in fact, is to protect an area for present and future generations.

The NY Times finally got around to covering the Rockaway Pipeline today (six months after the story broke, beat by NY1, The Rockawave, Sheepshead Bites, L Magazine, Canarsie Courier and on and on) and amazingly, they didn't call the bill that will authorize the project by its number or name and allowed Williams officials to go on record as saying that the congressional authoriziation is an "early, early, early step" in the project without any opposition to that statement except for some vague reference to conspiracy theories on internet boards. (These I have never seen, although who knows they could be out there. Rumors abound on anything.)

I've read through all the documents in FERC on the project (PF09-8) and we are not "early early early" in the path of this project. They prefiled in 2009. 2009 was "early, early, early". The latter half of 2012 not so early. Certainly not three earlies in a row.

Any congressional approval (the house or senate) should have at the very least been made after an environmental impact statement or the FERC approval process for the interstate pipeline was finished. It certainly should not have passed the house without the public even hearing about the pipeline project or the bill.

What the company does not want to say is that the matter of whether or not a natural gas pipeline and an industrial facility belongs in this park is not up to the FERC commission or the Mayor or the head of a gas company. It is up to the people that the park belongs to, the citizens of NYC and this country,  and the legislators that represent us in Congress should not be passing bills in either chamber of Congress without our input. There is a group collecting signatures quite easily at the beach and in the park against the bill that will allow this project. I'm hoping that it's not easy for the Senate to pass this bill.


                                          Say No to HR 2606. Protect Your Parks Postcard.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Flowers That Didn't Make it in the House (For Jane)

They are still up on the roof and there are some in a coffee shop nearby. Thanks to Jane though for reminding me to pay attention again. The days are getting shorter and the anemones bloom.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

And on the Seventh Day


ye shall covet your neighbor's vegetables. (my neighbor julia's haul)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Today's Quotes (Kill the Bill, HR 2606)


Sen Udall: "If this committee were to pursue one new policy iniative to help the parks during this Congress what do you think it should be?
Is it support LWCF and land aquisition?
Addressing the maintenance backlog?
Bringing More Americans into the parks?"

Mr. Jarvis: "..from my perspective I think recognizing that the National Park Service plays an essential role in this country's public education system is front and center for me...I know the kids, their education capacity and their interest in our American history as well as the ecology of this country increases when they have access to parks".

Interesting that Jarvis didn't say that the maintenance backlog problem could just be solved by selling out pieces of the parks to industry. These were quotes from last year at a National Parks Subcommittee hearing. This year in March there was a different hearing by the National Parks Subcommitte. Among all the bills that were introduced that might conserve land or protect it in some way, only one was introduced that would allow a natural gas pipeline through NPS land and only one promoted industrializing a piece of a park. Only one person testified in support of this bill (HR 2606) and that person was the associate director of cultural resources at the national park service. There's video too, and somewhere around minute 52 or 53, HR 2606 gets covered and the project and specifically the metering and regulating facility in historic hangars at Floyd Bennett Field is quite amazingly described as a 'boost' for the park.

Did Stephanie Toothman say boost or blast? What's the difference anyway? What matters is that HR 2606's path through Congress without any public input or debate is a neat little lesson in democracy and history in the making all at once for the kids that National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis can be proud of.


More posts on Rockaway Pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area, HR2606 and the metering and regulating station in the park at Floyd Bennett Field here

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vote No on HR 2606 (postcard from a park user)


Teddy Roosevelt might be turning over in his grave. Had to go to Ken Burns (The National Parks, Americas Best Idea for this bite:)

In his speech, Roosevelt reminded people of the essential democratic principle embodied by the parks; they were created "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people." These words were later carved into the arch's mantle as a reminder of why the park was there – and for whom.

There are a lot of ideas out there. They're not all good. HR 2606, which would allow a pipeline and accompanying industrial facilities to be built in historic hangars in land at Gateway National Recreation Area, which is protected by the National Park Service is one of the bad ideas, no matter how many politicians and government bigwigs testify for it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

National Park Units Overlying (or near) the Marcellus Shale



1.) Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS - Within, but near edge

2.) Andrew Johnson NHS  - Near southern edge

3.) Appalachian NST -  Mostly near, short section within

4.) Blue Ridge PKWY  - Near, but no closer than about 25 miles

5.) Bluestone NSR  - Within the Marcellus (about 20-30 miles)

6.) Booker T Washington NM  - Near, but about 30 miles east

7.) Cedar Creek & Belle Grove NHP -  Near eastern edge (about five miles)

8.) Cumberland Gap NHP -  About 30 miles west, but in black shale

9,) Cuyahoga Valley NRA  - Near, and within black shale

10.) Delaware Water Gap NRA -  Near eastern edge (about five miles)

11.) Eisenhower NHS -  Near, but about 40 miles east

12.) Eleanor Roosevelt NHS  -  Near, but about 30 miles east

13.) Flight 93 NMem - Within, but near edge

14.) Fort Necessity NB - Within (center of the Marcellus)

15.) Fort Stanwix NM -  Within, but near edge

16.) Friendship Hills NHS - Within (center of the Marcellus)

17.) Gauley River NRA - Within the south central Marcellus

18.) Gettysburg NMP - Near, but about 40 miles east

19.) Great Smoky Mountains NP - Near southern edge

20.) Harpers Ferry NHP - Near, but about 40 miles east

21.) Home of Franklin D Roosevelt NHS - Near, but about 30 miles east

22.) Hopewell Culture NHP -  About 50 miles west, but in black shale

23.) James A Garfield NHS - Within, but near edge

24.) Johnstown Flood NMem - Within, but near edge

25.) Martin Van Buren NHS -  Near, but about 30 miles east

26.) Middle Delaware NSR - Within, but near edge

27.) Morristown NHP  - Near, but about 30 miles east

28.) New River Gorge NR - Within the south central Marcellus

29.) Saratoga NHP Near - (about 20 miles northeast)

30.) Shenandoah NP Near - (about 20 miles east on Trail)

31.) Steamtown NHS - Within boundary, about 40 miles from edge

32.) Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS - Near northern edge (about five miles)

33.) Upper Delaware SSR - Within (from edge to about 60 miles in)

34.) Vanderbilt Mansion NHS - Near, but about 30 miles east

35.) Women’s Rights NHP - Near (About ten miles north)


Now guess where I got that list? On something published with the National Park's Service name on it. http://marcellus.psu.edu/resources/PDFs/marcellusshalereport09.pdf.pdf

As Elisabeth Licata said today over at Garden Rant, it's all connected and the people at the National Park Service who testified in support of HR 2606, the bill that will allow a natural gas pipeline through and industrial facilities in Gateway National Recreation Area, know this.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back to Life


back to reality as the song goes. I spend my days watching plants, weeding and paying some mind to visitors and this is enough for me now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Way It Was (When Gateway Nat'l Rec Area was born)

Plum Beach on Sheepshead Bay 05/1973
                                         Plum Beach on Sheepshead Bay 05/1973
                                         Original Caption: Plum Beach on Sheepshead Bay 05/1973
                                         U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: 412-DA-5382
                                         Photographer: Tress, Arthur, 1940-

It is no small thing that Gateway National Recreation Area exists, and all you have to do is look at some pictures from the time of its birth to see this. It is one of the most visited of all the parks in the National Park Service, and it is no small thing that those in power have forgotten the park's purpose as stated in its enabling legislation,“to preserve and protect for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations an area possessing outstanding natural and recreational features.” "...the Secretary shall administer and protect the islands and waters within the Jamaica Bay Unit with the primary aim of conserving the natural resources, fish, and wildlife located therein and shall permit no development or use of this area which is incompatible with this purpose

HR 2606? Industrial facilities and a natural gas pipeline through this park tearing up three miles of ocean off its shore? This is a development and use of this area which is incompatible with the park's purpose.



A Small Park on Sheepshead Bay 05/1973
                    A Small Park on Sheepshead Bay 05/1973
                    Original Caption: A Small Park on Sheepshead Bay 05/1973
                    U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: 412-DA-5383
                    Photographer: Tress, Arthur, 1940-


More posts on Rockaway Pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area, HR2606 and the metering and regulating station in the park at Floyd Bennett Field here

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

No Pipeline in Gateway (National Recreation Area) Petition


A petition to sign to keep a pipeline and industrial facilities that come with it out of GatewayNational Recreation Area. Brought to you by some fine folks at the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline, who now have a facebook page. There's a paper petition too that got signed this weekend at jacob riis or so I read about over at the independent newsblog SheepsheadBites. Say No to HR 2606. Protect Your Park.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Quote and A Vote


“National parks and other federal lands are a time capsule that provides visitors a look into our nation’s history and a safe environment for outdoor activities and education for all Americans to enjoy,” Rep. Robert Turner said. ( I got the quote from over at Sheepshead Bites)

Let's play a game called "Does the quote match the vote?" Well seeing as Turner cosponsored HR 2606, I'm going to go with no.  And seeing as he wrote the following to one of his constituents, (who happened to oppose this legislation) I'm going to also say he doesn't understand where the pipeline his legislation will authorize is going to be built and he may not understand what a metering and regulating station is or he's just making out like he doesn't get it:
  "The pipeline will not cross or encroach upon any portion of the beach at Gateway National Park. While part of the project entails the construction of a monitoring station inside the paved portion of the park, the station will be located inside one of the historic hangar at Floyd Bennett Field and have no impact on the exterior of the building."
I've seen a map of the pipeline and it most decidely will go under Jacob Riis Beach which is absolutely part of Gateway National Park as he calls it. I've also read some specifics about what a metering and regulating station is. It is not a "monitoring" facility. There aren't people in there wearing binoculars somewhat like birders watching a little sea of gas flow by.  It is an industrial facility. It will have tremendous volumes of natural gas entering into it at very high pressure (over 900psi) and its function is to reduce the pressure of that gas to the level that it will be transported through the city (over 300pi). Both of these pressures are fantastically higher than the gas that moves into people's homes.

I'm getting very tired of reading politicians and the Department of Interior when talking about introducing this pipeline and this industrial facility into Gateway National Recreation Area only talking about potential impact to "viewshed" or the "exterior of the buildings".  I'm getting tired of the runaround.


More posts on Rockaway Pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area, HR2606 and the metering and regulating station in the park at Floyd Bennett Field here

Under an Umbelliferae and a A Blue Sky

 or next to a patch of some by the side of the road perhaps,

is where i want to be. To me there is something so lovely about the color of the curly dock as it browns and goes to seed this time of year among the Queen's Anne's Lace blooms. (This isn't the country, just the edge of Brooklyn, by the side of the road and above in an old airfield.)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Run Around (A Stakeholder meeting with Williams/Transco)


This week's HR 2606 question of the week:
How much difference is there, if any at all, between a "discussion" and a "conversation"?

This week's quote from FERC elibrary (PF09-8):
"In particular, Transco has participated in extensive discussions with National Park Service (NPS) staff since 2009 to address concerns about potential immediate and cumulative impacts on NPS-owned lands. This coordination led to the introduction of H.R. 2606 (New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act) to the U.S. House of Representatives, which approved the bill on February 8, 2012. A hearing before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee was scheduled for March 7, 2012. The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to allow the construction and operation of natural gas pipeline facilities in the GNRA."

These are words taken directly from Williams Draft Report in 2012 for the Rockaway Lateral Delivery Project. Now would you believe that after twice cancelling a meeting with the gardeners who grow vegetables almost directly underneath the metering station that Williams is proposing to build on NPS land, both Williams and NPS tried to tell gardeners that HR 2606 would not "authorize" nor "allow" the pipeline that will pass through Gateway National Recreation Area? They tried to say that this bill will only allow "conversations" to occur between the park and the gas company? They really and truly kept saying this. I've read the bill. The word "conversation" is not in it.

There was also a somewhat heated discussion (or conversation, take your pick) of exactly what the term "industrial" means in regards to the Metering and Regulating facility that is being proposed for hangars at Floyd Bennett Field. Somehow Williams is suddenly confused about the nature of their business. Back in 2009, though they were clear. Along with public safety, environmental impacts and other issues, they acknowledged that there were land-use constraints to deal with when choosing a site for their metering and regulating facility. And here's a quote I've used many times from Williams original draft report from that time, "the construction of a meter and regulating station would result in a given site being classified as a developed industrial use".

And here I thought it was difficult getting information about this project back in February, when the only information readily available was the paperwork in FERC's elibary. Now, it's moved into the realm of the ridiculous. HR 2606 is a bill that will authorize the Secretary of the Interior to allow the construction of natural gas pipeline facilities in Gateway National Recreation Area. This is a bill that will authorize an industrial facility to be built in NPS property. There is no way around that fact without lying.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why HR 2606 Matters (another stab at it)

Ecology village campers at Floyd Bennett Field circa 1970's

As Gateway National Recreation Area celebrates 40 years of existance it faces a new threat in the form of a natural gas pipeline slated to pass under one of its beaches and off its shore as well as the leasing of historic hangars at Floyd Bennett Field for the construction of a new industrial facility to support that pipeline. Gateway National Recreation Area was created in almost the same breath as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Gateway National Recreation Area was created to preserve and protect not pristine areas, but natural resources that had already been damaged by a long history of industrial abuses in one of the densest urban environments in Amerca.

I took the photos above and below from Gateway National Recreation Area's facebook page, where there is no mention of a natural gas pipeline or the threat that this project will have on the area. There is no mention of the fact that the Department of Interior is testifying in support of the bill that will allow an industry that is exempt from both the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act to operate in this park.

Gateway has invited the public down to the beach to participate in defining what this park will be in the future. The invitation is here.  The invitation says: "Gateway was established in 1972 with the dream of bringing a National Park Service experience to the New York metropolitan area. You can help Gateway figure out what it means to be a great urban park in the 21st century."

Protect your park. Participate.
At Jacob Riis Park, Queens:
Saturday, August 4, 2012,
11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
and Friday, August 10, 2012 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.