Pipeline Battle Goes on Despite Rejection


Just as protesters and supporters are gearing up to battle it out over Williams’ newly proposed natural gas pipeline project off of Rockaway’s waters, the project has been temporarily stopped.

There is much debate over whether Williams’ proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Project will be helpful or harmful and on Thursday, April 26 at the Best Western Gregory Hotel (8315 4th Ave), all parties will provide their thoughts on the project during a public hearing from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This meeting will focus on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project, issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Williams must go through the process with FERC before proceeding with construction for the project, which includes a 23-mile pipeline that will extend under the ocean from New Jersey and connect to the already-existing Rockaway Lateral Project, which goes through Riis Park and up Flatbush Avenue. The addition would bring more natural gas to New York City.

The FERC process will continue and the meeting on Thursday will still take place, but the project has taken a big step backwards after the Department of Environmental Conservation denied a necessary water quality certification for the project. In an announcement on Friday, April 20, the DEC said, “Williams has not completed its application in a timely manner, and the environmental review of the project being conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission remains incomplete, as well. Moreover, the application materials that were submitted to DEC showed potentially significant environmental impacts that raised serious concerns.”

Williams has an opportunity to complete its application and resubmit it, but this denial now puts the project on hold, no matter what FERC decides.

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