In case you hadn’t heard, a natural gas pipeline may be built under the Rockaways

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Image source: Williams Transco via WNYC – click here for a bigger image

We wanted to remind you about this natural gas pipeline that may be built under the Rockaways, if the paperwork is approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Despite the current dire situation post-Hurricane Sandy, plans for the Rockaway Lateral Project are moving forward. WNYC tells us that it would be, “a 3.17 mile pipeline that would connect to an exiting natural gas line in the Atlantic Ocean and run beneath Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways (which has become somewhat of a dumping ground for debris from the hurricane) and Jamaica Bay to Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field.”

A company called Williams Transco is developing this pipeline project – their established pipelines transport a heck of a lot of natural gas to the Northeast and Southeast US. This gas is produced in the US along the Gulf Coast, Appalachia and Mid-Continent. Their partner, National Grid (an energy company covering the Northeast), would construct the 26 inch-wide lateral pipeline to serve as a new delivery point to bring more natural gas to the Northeast. Gas could arrive as early as November 2014.

Folks from Williams Transco say they would build the pipeline under the ocean floor and also cover it with concrete mats, so that the pipeline won’t somehow float to the surface. It is expected to deliver approximately 625 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Environmentalists are worried because the meter and regulation station could find itself under water and flooded if another hurricane or superstorm hits the area. The Mayor’s office is deeply supportive of this project because they believe this is a critical pipeline to bring more gas to population-dense and energy-hungry NYC; Brooklyn and Queens will benefit greatly from the increase in natural gas supply. National Grid spokeswoman Karen Young points out that this pipeline will “ensure [energy] reliability for the Rockaways.”

The building of this pipeline could benefit the area’s economy. Officials expect the project will create close to 300 construction jobs and $265 million in construction activity. This is according to US Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island, Brooklyn), a supporter of the pipeline plan.

And when it comes down to oil vs. natural gas, gas is usually cheaper. Additionally, the hurricane brought thousands of gallons of oil into Jamaica Bay from home fuel tanks based in Broad Channel, and moving to natural gas would cut down on the risk of future oil spills. Gas tends to be a cleaner kind of fuel than oil as well.

Rockaway Pipeline Project Set to Move Forward [WNYC]
Straight through the Rockaways, Oversight of New Pipelines is Split [Gotham Gazette]
Underwater gas pipeline may extend into Queens and Brooklyn [QNYC]
President Obama Approves New Natural Gas Pipeline in Brooklyn and Queens [DNAinfo]