2009-10-09 / Letters

Setting the Pipeline Record Straight

Dear Editor,

In response to the September 25 story titled, "Mystery Solved: Stilt Ship Testing for Pipeline," I would like to take an opportunity to provide The Wave readers with additional information.

Our company operates the Transco natural gas pipeline, which has been quietly and safely providing natural gas to the New York City area for more than 50 years. We transport natural gas to utility companies like National Grid through our 10,500-mile pipeline system which extends from South Texas to New York City.

For the past year, we have been working with our customer, National Grid, to develop a pipeline proposal to help meet the growing energy needs of the Rockaways and the New York City region. The proposal, which we are calling our Rockaway Delivery Lateral, is being designed to create an additional connection from our existing Transco pipeline into National Grid's distribution network. Specifically, it would involve the construction of a 26-inch diameter, 3-mile pipeline lateral from our existing offshore pipeline in Lower New York Bay, to an interconnect with National Grid on the Rockaway Peninsula.

It is important for us to stress that we are very early in the planning phase of this project, and that contrary to the quote attributed to a Transco spokesperson in the aforementioned September 25 article, we still have many permits and approvals to obtain from regulatory agencies, including the National Park Service, before this project can move forward. The only permit obtained from the National Park Service thus far was for conducting exploratory surveys. The

Letters research vessel observed by residents was part of this process.

Before we can expand any of our pipeline facilities, we must obtain a federal Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in addition to various state and local permits. Transco has not yet filed an application with FERC; however, we have compiled a preliminary scope of work to meet the anticipated needs of our customer and have requested that FERC initiate a pre-filing environmental review of the proposed project.

We are still in the process of designing this project. We've met with local community leaders to brief them on our proposal and we will continue to meet with interested parties as the project moves forward to provide an opportunity to review the study area and give feedback. During the course of the design and FERC review process, there are also many avenues for public interaction and comment. We will continue to provide more detailed information on the proposal as it is developed, and we encourage feedback. Public input is very important to us. The comments gathered during this planning phase will help shape our final proposal.

If you have any questions about the project, you can e-mail us at pipelineexpansion@ williams.com or call us toll free at 866-455-9103. Additional information can also be found on our website at www.williams.com/rockaway.

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