Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tales From the FERC Files

                  Milkweed, wild, Floyd Bennett Field: my choice for a preferred partner in the park

If you've never had the pleasure of a natural gas pipeline and associated above ground infrastructure proposed to run through and operate in a park near you, you have missed out indeed on being inundated with last minute changes and enormous volumes of paperwork to read through in the FERC files. For the Rockaway Pipeline lateral with the awesome new park improvement, an acre natural gas facility proposed for historic hangars in Floyd Bennett Field right alongside recreational users of the park, it has been a busy month in the FERC files. Just as a draft EIS was anticipated on the project, a "separate" project was deemed connected and is being tacked on. That project involves compression work back along Transco's pipeline almost to the Maryland border and as far as I can tell seems to be the source of the only incremental gas being supplied by the project. If you didn't know the Rockaway Pipeline lateral seems to be supplying the least amount of additional gas into New York City of the two recently FERC approved pipeline expansions into Brooklyn and New York City, what can I say? You probably are getting your information on the project from the news and its doubtful that there is a reporter or newspaper with the time to spend dedicated to this unimportant project through the public beach and park. Why this connected project has only recently been introduced, who knows?  Perhaps for the same reason that it was also only recently revealed that National Grid would like an additional pipe connected to the metering and regulating facility in the park?  It's a good thing for National Grid that the National Park Service decided to place the facility in the park and to testify in Congress in order to ensure that their choice for the placement of that facility catupulted to the top of the list of sites being considered before the first public meetings were held on the project now isn't it?  Already it seems the companies that want to build their infrastructure in the park seem to have catapulted to the top of the list of important park users.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Today's Park Quote from Mayor Bloomberg and One from the Past

Part of a smaller metering and regulating station in an industrial park not a recreational park

Parkland is “not the only thing people need,” Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday as he defended plans to build a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. “It’s not irreplaceable.” I get a real kick out of Boss Bloomberg's statements on parks. But this quote from the NY post gets even better. “In fact, there’s an old airport, Flushing Airport, which is going to be turned into a park. So the total parkland would be the same,” added the mayor. “On balance there’s an enormous amount of new park land,” he said. “But it’s not the only thing people need. A lot of people want a stadium to enjoy soccer.” This is a 2013 quote. I don't know what the ratio is of people who want to enjoy soccer is versus the people who use parks is, but I think what the mayor actually means is there is some money to be made by some people by building a stadium.

Back in 2011 --“Here in New York, we feel such a strong sense of pride for our parks, I want to thank Secretary Salazar and the rest of the Obama administration for their ongoing support of the city’s parks and other national jewels within the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “As part of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, we look forward to working with the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service to enhance the largely undiscovered beauty of the Gateway National Recreation Area.”

One of my favorite parts of that DOI press release is this whopper: "The National Park Service will undertake urban design plans for Floyd Bennett Field on Jamaica Bay that is surrounded by the most dense and diverse population in any national park area. NPS will also work to revitalize the community gardens at Floyd Bennett Field as a tool to increase urban residents’ access to fresh vegetables, and to the outdoor gardening experience." And by that I think what was really meant was that they were getting ready to push a bill through Congress to build a pipeline through the park and place a metering and regulating facility in Floyd Bennett Field next to a community garden that seems pretty vital all on its own.

Meanwhile over at the Rockawave they have taken to giving Gateway a new nickname, Gateway National Disgrace Area, which I like, but they seem to think that the city is actually going to be an improvement over NPS, which I think might mean that they are dreaming.  The park is for sale.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Maybe they better get started with postcards from park users

I read a curious article a week or so ago about a threat to some national parks. It was curious to me because it began with the line "Teddy Roosevelt must be rolling over in his grave" and the line seemed familiar to me as I think an archer at Floyd Bennett Field wrote something pretty similar on one of Joe's postcard campaign letters against HR2606. The article is curious to me for a few reasons. One of them being a report mentioned written apparently by the National Parks Conservation Association, who was just gung-ho about HR2606, but maybe that's because the chair of that organization is a certain wealthy mayor's business partner totally in favor of the Rockaway Pipeline Project through Gateway National Recreation Area, specifically the pipe through Jacob Riis Beach and the Floyd Bennett Field metering and regulating facility. Who knows? It's a possibility right?  The report by the NPCA reminded of another report acredited to the National Park Service that I also wrote a post about last August. It's an interesting little circle. Now all I have to do is hear that the writer of the deSmog article lives in Brooklyn and I will just fall right over from all of this interestingness happening at once.

On second thought. Maybe the NPCA should save money on stamps as I think it takes too long for people in power to read postcards?

To requote a line I got from Ken Burns documentary on the National Parks page again:
"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.

The parks are for the people? Who knew. I've read a ridiculous amount of material in the FERC files on the Rockaway Project and very rarely do I read about people.