Tag Archives: natural gas

Obama signs bill for gas pipeline under the Rockaways


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Williams

A bill allowing a natural gas pipeline to be constructed in Queens and Brooklyn has been signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act, passed on November 27, authorizes Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to issue permits to build and operate a three-mile pipeline underneath Jacob Riis Park and Jamaica Bay in the Rockaways to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

The measure is expected to bring clean energy to the city, while creating 300 local construction jobs and generating about $265 million in construction activity, officials said.

“Given the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, this law could not come at a more critical time for New York City,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “This pipeline will help us build a stable, clean energy future for New Yorkers and will ensure the reliability of the city’s future energy needs.”

The new pipeline will be built off the existing Williams pipeline — which brings natural gas from New Jersey to Long Island —- along a planned route through the Gateway National Recreation Area that avoids residential, commercial and environmentally sensitive areas, said Congressmember Michael Grimm.

“At a time when many in [the city] have suffered such great loss, this is welcomed news as we seek to rebuild our local economy and our communities,” Grimm said.

But the pipeline is not “green,” according to activists against the measure, who say it carries a carbon footprint and several environmental hazards, including the risk of possible explosions.

“This is reckless,” said Peter Rugh, spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street Environmental Solidarity. “The area where the pipeline is going through has been decimated by rising tides and flood waters. [Residents] are rebuilding, and they want to rebuild in a green fashion and not with a mega gas pipeline.”

Dan Hendrick, spokesperson for the New York League of Conservation Voters, said the pipeline comes with both positive and negative aspects.

Construction would cause short-term environmental disturbances to the sea floor, Hendrick said, temporarily affecting the “robust” marine ecology of some 100 types of fish and crabs. The potential loss of public parkland use at Floyd Bennett Field has also been at the root of controversy, he said.

But the city would be moving toward a future of natural gas, Hendrick said, which burns cleaner and emits less pollutants.

“Clearly there are some negatives, but there are definitely some positives,” Hendrick said, “and that’s sort of what makes this challenging.”

 

Residents concerned over new natural gas pipelines


| RubenMuniz@queenscourier.com


A massive, new natural gas pipeline that may be coming to the tri-state area has many of the region’s residents up in arms.

At the most recent Community Board 11 meeting, it was revealed that Spectra Energy, a Houston-based gas and electric giant, is proposing to build 16 miles of new pipeline and five miles of connecting pipeline through areas in New Jersey — including Bayonne, Hoboken and Jersey City — ending underneath Manhattan.

The company said the 30-inch thick pipeline would help alleviate New York City’s dependency on pre-existing natural gas pipelines, while lowering natural gas prices for home and business owners. However, many said it would be a biological safety hazard, causing more harm than good.

“It’s a very real problem,” said Dale Bardman, president of Jersey City No Gas Pipeline, an organization formed to block the pipeline from coming to fruition.

“Queens would be exposed to these airborne toxins just as Jersey City, Manhattan, Brooklyn and anywhere the air carries them.”

Bardman said he fears the pipe could be a target for terrorist attacks.

Spectra has had more than 300 public meetings about the project with community leaders, according to spokesperson Marylee Hanley, and has made significant changes based on residential input.

The pipeline, Hanley said, would be safe — with available 24-hour surveillance along the tubes — and would provide an additional supply of natural gas to the region, while creating more than 5,000 jobs.

“We understand the communities’ concerns,” Hanley said. “[This pipeline] will be one of the safest lines in the United States.”

The pipeline could potentially go into service in November 2013, Hanley said.

Windsor Park will save green by going green


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

DSC_0316w

Larry Goodfleish, 56, said he thinks it’s good his building will become energy efficient and cost effective.

“[It’s] absolutely good; and if it’s Earth friendly and Earth healthy, I’m all for it,” he said before going into his apartment at Windsor Park.

The Bayside co-op is converting from oil heat to natural gas, with completion of the project set for the end of the year. It will cost $4 million, but will save the co-op more money in the long run, officials announced May 17.

Updating the buildings will pay for itself after about three-and-a-half years, said Larry Kinitsky, Windsor Park president, and will save the co-op more than $800,000 each year after. The choice to switch to natural gas was more economical for Windsor Parks than Oil 2, Kinitsky said.

In addition to the updated heating system, the inside of the buildings’ chimneys will be re-coated to handle the exhaust fumes.

The project is in compliance with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new law to change all Oil 6 buildings to a more environmental fuel source by 2015.

The overhaul of the complex’s heating system is a coordination between National Mechanic Corp., Con Edison and City Councilmember Mark Weprin’s office.

Already three weeks into the program, National Mechanic Corp. is contracted to evaluate and change any equipment that needs updating. Con Edison is responsible for transporting the natural gas from the mainline under city streets into the buildings’ line.

Gary and Greg Mortman, vice presidents of National Mechanic, said they’re working on five buildings of the complex’s 20, which house 1,830 apartments. Greg said the impact to residents has been “very minute.”

Terri Bonavolonta, spokesperson for Con Edison, said the project is easier to coordinate in the summer, when resident’s won’t worry about heating, though temporary hot water suppliers have been installed.

Weprin, whose office is located in the complex – complimented Windsor Park for its initiative to make the conversion.

“I’m delighted that Windsor Park is doing this,” he said, before adding that he has been working with other co-ops to ensure they are updated by the 2015 deadline.