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.


Jen said...

Do you see this as mainly a federal issue, or do the state and city have any say in what's going on?

Sweetgum Thursday said...

That's an interesting question Jen. What we have is federal land, a new interagency agreement between the city and the feds, legislation that is on the federal level, the mayors office and the department of interior testifying for the bill, so who's to say? Gateway is a National Rec Area. It is governed by the laws of NPS. So one would assume that the legislation (and the introduction of an industrial facility to the park) would have national implications. I don't know the situation with other Rec Areas or historic buildings, but the gist of this project is that public private is the way to go (certainly already the case for NYC parks and sounds like the way for National Parks as well, and it doesn't matter whether its a natural gas company or a hot dog vendor, whoever can use and maintain the building gets it.

Jen said...

Interesting! Thanks.