2012-02-24 / Editorial/Opinion

Some Questions On The New NPS Pipeline

We first found out that a new pipeline was coming to Rockaway in 2010 when one of our graphic artists saw a strange ship on stilts off the coast of Riis Park. He took some photos and we were intrigued. After some digging, we found that the ship was doing survey off the shore in advance of a new pipeline that would be built from an existing Pennsylvania transfer site to Brooklyn via Riis Park and a large metering station at Floyd Bennett Field. We filed our story and then filed away the idea, figuring we would hear about it again when National Grid came to the city for its approval and the approval of the residents of Rockaway. That never happened, however, and the next thing we heard was last week when the House of Representatives approved a bill allowing the pipeline to be built under National Park Service property, cutting the city and Rockaway out of the picture completely. Not only was Congressman Greg Meeks a yes vote, he was one of the sponsors of the bill. So far, Congressman Bob Turner, who lives not far from the pipeline route, was also one of the bill’s sponsors and we have to wonder what his neighbors think of the plan. The NPS loves the plan because it will bring, according to Meeks, about $10 million annually to the park, which it can then use for renovations. That’s fine, but we have lots of question, the first being, why was Rockaway cut out of the decision-making process? Then, in reading the National Grid proposal to host the pipeline it specifically stated that it would have no mandate to bring the much-needed natural gas to Broad Channel, which now is the only community in New York City without gas service. Why not insure that the company, as a price for using Rockaway land, finally brings gas service to the island community? National Grid also says that there is no safety issue involved with the pipeline, but we Googled “pipeline accidents” and came up with 76 pages of problems with natural gas pipelines, many of which destroyed homes and killed local residents. The line runs nearby one of the busiest beaches in the city, through a venue where hundreds of little league kids play every weekend and where Rockaway hosts its arts venues. Should there not be a discussion on the possibilities? At the very least, if the feds are intent on having the pipeline, shouldn’t our Senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gilibrand, demand that the deal include gas service for Broad Channel? Once again, Rockaway is being put upon by the feds.

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I grew up in Rockaway and

I grew up in Rockaway and like to keep in touch through the Wave. To respond to the dangers in gas pipelines. We have gas pipelines all over the South. They cross our golf courses, parks and ROW's behind our houses. This is called progress and we do not fight it. BC would love to have the gas lines running behind their houses. One of the issues I see is that it appears that everything gets bogged down in talks. Some people like this, some people like that. Four or five years later things are still stalled. You want power but don't want an NGP station off the coast of Rockaway. You argue that some trucks don't have canvas covers on trucks to haul the dirt from the old power plant. The covers don't really do anything but the point is argued and six months later the dirt is still there. I live within site of the Williams tower in Houston and my neighbor is the head welding foreman for them. He puts 60" gas lines all across our country. The regulations and procedures for installing these lines are impeccable. Do accidents happen, of course they do. Accidents happen every day on our roads, in our skies, in our parks and homes. We do not stop the cars from driving the planes from flying. People need to sit back and let the people that know what they are doing move along with their jobs. They are not there to hurt you or ravage the earth and reap the profits. Stop all the arguing, the committees, the meetings and the whining. You could have had everything you needed but tried to cherry-pick what you wanted. You were probably circumvented due to the fact that it was just not worth the hassle dealing with all the different factions. Look at the Keystone pipeline. Think about this. There are already pipelines running through the area that is being discussed. The companies that put in these pipelines are so regulated that they have to leave the land in better shape than when they started. What is the REAL issue “Politics”. A little common sense (that is not so common nowadays) and a little oversight would make everyone's life easier.

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