Thanks, Patti

Tonight we went to the reopening ceremony and celebration of Fort Tilden, closed almost two years (since Superstorm Sandy), We simply intended to distribute flyers and information on the Rockaway Pipeline to the crowd, and to let folks know that National Grid (for whom the pipeline was built) was one of the sponsors of the day. We thought that we’d also get to see Patti Smith and James Franco reading Walt Whitman. But there was more: we were so heartened to hear Patti speak against the project and express her hope that it would not be built! And as she spoke, clearly visible in the ocean was an enormous derrick ready to begin construction.

Thank you, Patti.

The song “The People Have the Power” brought the crowd together as one voice. With those words echoing in our ears, we made our way to the shore where the derrick squatted in the water, lights ablaze, preparing to dig the massive trench for the pipeline.

Who, indeed, has the power?

*************************************************************************************************

You do.

The people of the Rockaways and all who visit deserve to be represented on this issue.

Are you concerned about summer construction on the beach? Or have questions about the radioactive gas that will be pumped in? What about the industrialization of our National Park, a refuge for wildlife, a place that belongs to us, the public? Do you have concerns about building a high-pressure pipeline in a flood zone, indeed on a sand bar?

Here are the names, email addresses and phone numbers of those elected to represent us.

MAKE WAVES!!!!

In the US Senate:

Senator Chuck Schumer, https://www.schumer.senate.gov/Contact/contact_chuck.cfm; scroll down and select “Energy/Environment”, then write your comment, or call (202) 224-6542

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/, select “Energy” or “Environment” or call (202) 224-4451

US House of Representatives

Congressman Gregory Meeks, NY-5 (Rockaway, Broad Channel) If you are in-district: https://Meeks.house.gov/contact-me  (718) 327-9791

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, NY-8 (Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn neighborhoods on Jamaica Bay) If you are in-district: https://jeffries.house.gov/contact/email-me  (718) 237-2211 or (718) 373-0033

 In the NYS Senate:

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. District 15 (Rockaway, Broad Channel) addabbo@40senate.state.ny.us District Office in Howard Beach (718) 738-1111, Rockaway Satellite Office (718) 318-0702

Senator John L. Sampson, District 29 (Floyd Bennett Field, Mill Basin) sampson@nysenate.gov (718) 649-7653

James Sanders Jr. District 10 (Hammels, Arverne, Bayswater, Far Rockaway) sanders@nysenate.gov District Office in South Ozone Park (718) 523-3069, Far Rockaway Satellite Office (718) 327-7017

In the NYS Assembly:

Assembly Member Phillip Goldfeder, District 23 (Rockaway, Broad Channel) GoldfederP@assembly.state.ny.us (718) 945-9550

NYC Mayor & City Council:

Mayor Bill DiBlasio, http://www.nyc.gov/html/static/pages/officeofthemayor/contact.shtml, choose message topic Environmental Concerns or Quality of Life, or just call 311

Council Member Donovan Richards Jr. District 31 (Hammels, Arverne, Edgemere, Bayswater, Far Rockaway)Chair – Environmental Committee, mailto:drichards@council.nyc.gov (718) 471-7014

Council Member Eric Ulrich, District 32 (Breezy Point, Neponsit, Belle Harbor, Rockaway Park, Rockaway Beach, Broad Channel) a champion of community safety, eulrich@council.nyc.gov (718) 738-1083

Council Member Alan Maisel, District 46 (Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Floyd Bennett Field, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Bergen Beach, Paerdegat Basin) AMaisel@council.nyc.gov (718) 2419330

Construction of the Pipeline Has Begun

Sadly, we report that earlier this month, FERC issued approvals for construction of the Rockaway Pipeline and the Metering & Regulating Station. Visitors to Riis Park and Floyd Bennett Field will see evidence that this work has begun. If you have questions or would like to stay informed about this campaign and what we can do, please email us at info@carpny.org

See the excellent article by Nick Pinto in the Gothamist.

 

 

FERC issues Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Rockaway Pipeline

On February 28 2014, the FERC staff concluded that, “if the proposed Projects are approved, constructed, and operated, the proposed facilities would result in some adverse environmental impacts. However, these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Transco’s proposed minimization and mitigation measures and the additional measures recommended in the EIS.”

To read the full EIS, go here.

Given the safety record of the Williams Transco and other Williams subsidiaries, CARP wonders whether Transco will indeed implement sufficient measures to protect Gateway National Recreation Area and surrounding communities of the Rockaways and South Brooklyn from these adverse environmental impacts. During the comment period in late 2013, CARP submitted a 40-page document explaining our many objections to the construction of this pipeline. We are continuing our efforts to change the outcome of this project. The most pressing task at hand is to notify users of Riis Beach that construction is expected to begin in May or June of this year, and to mobilize the voices of the community and visitors to alert their representatives in city and state office that this is unacceptable.

We will post outreach opportunities at this site.

We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions at info@carpny.org.

 

The Pipeline Follies

Concert and Fundraiser for CARP

The Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline

is coming your way

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 28, 7-10 P.M.

MUSIC, MAGIC and ART in the beautiful

Park Slope United Methodist Church

6th Avenue at 8th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn

(F train to 7th Avenue station at 9th Street)

***   $10 admission, or whatever you can afford   ***

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbxWr8EW4oA

For the past two years CARP has been campaigning to stop the Rockaway pipeline. With the able assistance of environmental law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, CARP submitted a detailed 40-page document to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission explaining why this pipeline must not be built. This document will provide the basis for a legal appeal if FERC grants Williams Transco permission to construct the pipeline. Now we are waiting for FERC’s decision

Regardless of the outcome of this struggle, CARP will continue to educate people about climate change and mobilize against Big Energy. But we can’t do this without your help. We need to raise $1,000 to pay our able and generous legal team. And we need money to fund flyers and forums.

So come to our fundraiser on February 28! Performers include:

Jonathan Fluck, thespian and Master of Ceremonies

Pinetree, Floyd Bennett Field gardener, poet, and singer

Anne Bassen voice, with Edith Lettner on sax

folksingers Peter Pasco and Joel Landy

Such as Us, The Lords of Liechtenstein

Kid Ace (master of the magical arts)

Elizabeth Soychak (the Lady in the Green Dress from The Highline Renegade Cabaret)

Ay Mayo! (Afro-Columbian drums of power)

the legendary Rude Mechanical Orchestra

and – direct from the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street the medieval mixed media known as a Cantastoria.

Video and photography courtesy of Environment TV.

And if you can’t make it but still want to contribute, you can make a tax-deductible donation of any size through our DONATE! page.

Comment Period to FERC has ended; see below for CARP’s submittal

rockaway-map-big

The comment period on the Rockaway Lateral Pipeline project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ended. We welcome you to use information from the document CARP Pipeline Comments to FERC December 9 2013 in your efforts on behalf of the environment.

We gratefully acknowledge the work of the Sane Energy Project for the sections on Radon and Lack of Notification, from which we copied verbatim, to Renew New York for the boiler conversion text (also copied verbatim), and to our colleagues at Occupy the Pipeline, New York Climate Action of Brooklyn For Peace, Park Slope United Methodist Church, New York City Friends of Clearwater, United for Action, the Occupy Wall Street Environmental Solidarity Working Group, New York Climate Action Group, C.B. 14 in Rockaway Park, and others. And a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made comments. They poured in over the past days and weeks, especially in the last hours of the workday on Monday, Dec. 9. You responded to over a month’s worth of emails and social networking, used your smartphones to capture CARP’s “Not On The Beach” link from the beautiful posters displayed throughout the Rockaways and parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan, spoke out at hearings, offered support, and spread the word. Your comments were passionate and moving, many stunningly brilliant, speaking for our rights to safely visit OUR National Recreation Area, for the health of the ocean and bay and the protection of the wild creatures who live there or migrate through, breeding and nesting, for the people upstream who would be affected by fracking to feed a gas pipeline imposed upon us by Bloomberg’s administration (and implemented by the National Parks Service) and built by a company with a horrendous safety record, for the children in NYC kitchens who would breathe radioactive gases coming in from Marcellus gas, and for the fragile and unstable climate that is our planet’s life support system.

To paraphrase Margaret Mead, CARP’s 40-page comment.is the result of the work of a small group of committed people.

We’ll keep you informed of next steps, including a fund-raiser to pay the legal fees for the excellent help received from Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal, one of the nation’s top environmental law firms. And thanks to Noah at the Center for Biological Diversity for understanding the urgency of the struggle and providing us that connection, and to the small shopkeepers who welcomed us and our posters, and to Genevieve’s class at the New York City College of Technology for creating them with humor and bite.

Five of the posters were seen by much of NYC, but we want you to get a look at everyone’s great work:

bikini in yellow

blue mask

danger

drowning man

not so far

one of these things

red and green

red mask

The deadline to fight the Rockaway Pipeline is approaching

The deadline to fight the Rockaway Pipeline is approaching 
and we need your help!


BREAKING NEWS
Williams Transco says it must trench the ocean this coming summer! 

Throughout the FERC process Williams Transco maintained they were going to do their ocean trenching during winter when marine populations are low. Now, after all the delays in the FERC process were caused by Transco and 2 weeks after the dEIS is published, comes this announcement:

The gas industry intends to surround us with an expanding network of shale gas pipelines to bring fracked gas to markets here and overseas. One of these is the Rockaway Pipeline, a 26-inch high-pressure pipeline to be built by Williams Transco and National Grid. It will be trenched into the ocean floor, run under the sand of Riis Park Beach, cross below the Rockaway Inlet, and continue up Flatbush Avenue to a Metering & Regulation facility (M&R Station) to be built in two historic hangars at Floyd Bennett Field.

Almost the entire project falls within Gateway National Recreation Area, our National Park. The Rockaway Pipeline will transgress the waters of the Rockaway Inlet, adjacent to the protected environment of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, and its M&R Station is to be sited within feet of the Floyd Bennett Community Garden, Aviator Sports, and camping grounds.

The impacts and risks are many. There will be local environmental effects from both the construction process and the normal operation of the project. There is also the risk of catastrophic failure, accidental or intentional. This pipeline will greatly encourage the expansion of fracking with all its attendant environmental ills, and it will bring more fracked (and possibly very radioactive) gas from the Marcellus Shale into our region.

Even worse, instead of freeing us to develop renewable energy, building this pipeline commits us to additional decades of shale gas use, which exacerbates climate change. This is a sad irony for all of us who are so freshly aware of climate change destruction, and especially for residents of Rockaway and the communities in and surrounding Jamaica Bay where many are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy.
 

  
Do you want to stop this? 

 
Please join us at the Public Hearings this week! 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has recently released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS) for this project.  There will be two public hearings for the dEIS, and we need you to come and express your concerns and opposition to the pipeline.

Tuesday,      October 22, 2013
Knights of Columbus Rockaway Council 267, 333 Beach 90th Street, Rockaway Beach, NY 11693
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Aviator Sports & Events Center, 3159 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11234
Both hearings start at 7:00 p.m. 

Getting there by public transportation: 

To get to 333 Beach 90th Street: A train to Broad Channel (make sure you take the Far Rockaway train, NOT the Lefferts Avenue train), transfer to the S train (same platform), take it one stop to Beach 90th Street, walk north on Beach 90th Street.
To get to Aviator Sports Center: #2 or #5 train to Flatbush/Nostrand Avenues (Brooklyn College stop), then Q35 bus south (stops across the street from Aviator). Ask the driver to announce the stop.

Some talking points for comment at the hearings follow. 

1. Why Is This Project Divided Into Two Segments? 

The Rockaway Lateral Delivery Project under FERC review has 2 parts: 1) a 3.2-mile pipeline that would be trenched into the ocean floor and run beneath Riis Beach in Queens, and 2) a Metering& Regulating Station to be built in historic hangars at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. But there is a 1.6-mile gap between those 2 pieces of the project.
This summer, National Grid “bridged” that future gap with their Brooklyn-Queens Interconnect (B-QI), Phase I. Because the B-QI has been falsely categorized as a local distribution pipe, National Grid was allowed to construct it under the Rockaway Inlet—through the Special Natural Waterfront Area and Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat of Jamaica Bay—without any environmental review. 

In 2012 the EPA advised FERC in its review: “A comprehensive evaluation of cumulative, indirect and secondary impacts should be presented. The cumulative impacts analysis should consider the environmental impacts of the National Grid pipeline, without which the Rockaway Delivery Lateral would not be constructed.” And federal case law says a project cannot be segmented so as to avoid review. FERC has ignored the EPA advice and the law. FERC should include a comprehensive evaluation of the cumulative impacts of the entire project—including the National Grid pipeline—in its environmental review.

2. Pipeline Safety 

Since 1986, pipeline accidents have killed more than 500 people, injured over 4,000, and cost nearly seven billion dollars in property damages” in the United States alone.1 The Rockaway Lateral Pipeline will be vulnerable to leakage during construction, from natural disasters, from terrorism, and from corrosion. Current national inspections  of pipelines are inadequate, with only 7% of natural gas lines inspected each year. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is chronically short of inspectors. It has funding for only 137, but had only 110 inspectors on staff in 2010. Transco plans its own in-person inspections only once every 7 years.
And pipelines DO explode: About 300 per year, on average, causing property damage, injuries — and death. 

1. Lena Groeger, Pipelines Explained: How Safe are America’s 2.5 Million Miles of Pipelines? Pro Publica November 15, 2012.
 

3. Fire and Flood Hazards
 

The transportation of natural gas by pipeline involves some incremental risk to the public due to the potential for an accidental release of natural gas. The greatest hazard is a fire or major pipeline rupture.” (Draft EIS 4.12)

In Floyd Bennett Field, the Metering & Regulating Facility’s regulator vault will be placed one foot above the floor of an airplane hangar which is at a 16′ elevation above sea level. This is in a flood zone where water crested at 14′ after Hurricane Sandy. The potential mix of seawater and gas is a dangerous one.

When regulator vaults flood, the regulator mechanism’s ability to reduce gas pressure can be significantly impaired. Water can cause the regulator to be stuck in the open position, dramatically increasing the pressure. If gas comes into a home or business at a higher pressure than it’s supposed to, a fire or explosion can result.

Williams Transco claims that the likelihood of flooding is not significantly greater now than in the summer of 2012, just before Hurricane Sandy, despite authoritative findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that sea level rise is inevitable and man-made.

4. Impacts on Protected Species

 

The project will have negative impacts on endangered and protected species. The dEIS acknowledges that this project “is likely to adversely affect Atlantic Right Whale and Atlantic Sturgeon,” and that it may also have impacts for the Leatherback Sea Turtle, Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, Green Sea Turtle, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Roseate Tern, Piping Plover, and Seabeach Amaranth. These impacts result from a variety of factors including pile driving noise, dredging, ocean debris, and the potential for collision with vessels.

5. Impacts on Marine Wildlife

 

Noise in the immediate area of pile driving for pipeline construction would exceed the injury threshold for fish, and the behavioral disturbance threshold for sea turtles; and would exceed the behavioral disturbance for marine mammals for a distance of 2.86 miles. In fact, Williams Transco has applied to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for authorization for “Intermittent Level B Harassment” of six marine mammal species. Construction of the offshore pipeline also would directly disturb approximately 38 acres of seabed due to dredging and jetting. Benthic species in these areas, such as Surfclams, most likely would perish.

6. Impacts on Essential Fish Habitat 

The pipeline will be located in a marine area that supports Essential Fish Habitat for 21 species. In addition to noise impacts discussed above, offshore excavations would create turbidity plumes in the water column that could clog fish gills, obscure visual stimuli, and reduce food intake for some fish. It is estimated that up to 402 acres of seabed could be affected by sedimentation.

7. Concerns About The Historic Hangars 

Information on the design of the interiors of the airplane hangars is being considered privileged information and not made available to the public, so we have limited information. We do know that, in certain parts of the hangars, fire retardant materials will not be used, due to the “aesthetics” of preserving of the historic look of the hangars, nor will the sprinkler system be activated.
In assessing the potential of vibration from construction activities, Transco states that “the simultaneous operation of multiple pieces of equipment or operation of equipment within 5 to 10 feet from the hanger walls could potentially cause damage.” The EIS suggests that a ‘vibration level threshold’ for the hanger be identified and that a Construction Protection (CPP) plan be created and filed with the Federal Office of Energy Projects (OEP).  However, the Office of Energy Projects’ enforcement division is focused on national gas market oversight and compliance with tariffs, not construction site safety, and is therefore unlikely to be an effective watchdog. What assurance does the public have that such a plan will be credible? Who will enforce the plan?

8. Dredging Of Toxins 

The waters off Gateway National Recreation Area are the site of some of the worst dumping along the East Coast. According to an ad hoc committee’s 1970 report, it is part of the largest grossly polluted area in the United States, and contains lead, chromium, copper, gold, selenium, and zinc. These toxins have been buried and kept out of the waters for years, but could be brought up by dredging related to this project, poisoning local fish and ruining commercial fisheries.

9. Mitigation Procedures Inadequate 

While “mitigation procedures” such as monitoring protected species are described by Williams Transco, and additional reviews of potential impacts have been recommended by FERC, we have no assurance that these measures will be sufficient to avoid unacceptable environmental harms. Certainly they will not protect us from the “upstream” impacts of fracking and climate change.

.

10. The Comments Period is too short. 

(NOTE: as October 22, the comment period has now been extended another two weeks beyond the initial deadline of November 25, giving the public until Monday December 9 to make comments.) 

At over 300 pages of text, 64 tables, 45 figures and 17 appendices the draft EIS is a dense technical document. The informed layperson who must read this document evenings and weekends needs more time to read and digest the information than given. The comment period, now less than 10 weeks, is too short and should be extended to allow for additional public comment.

11. Do We Need The Gas? 

Regarding this project, EPA stated: “The EIS should include a full discussion of the purpose and the need of the proposed project, quantifying energy demand and the need for such facilities in the region.” This has not been adequately discussed in the EIS.

12. The Project Will Encourage Fracking 

The substantial cost of construction of this pipeline puts economic pressure on Williams Transco to continue pumping gas through it as long as possible, and the only new sources of gas available are from fracking shale formations. The more pipelines, the more financial incentive to continue the practice of fracking.

13. It Will Exacerbate Climate Change 

Although “natural gas” burns cleaner than coal or oil, the extraction and transportation of this gas is much more damaging to the atmosphere. Natural gas is methane, which contributes much more to global warming than an equivalent amount of CO2. Any leak in a pipe, or release of gas to mitigate pressure (both of which happen frequently) is very harmful, and the extraction process releases large amounts of methane.

14. Investing Billions In Fossil Fuels Infrastructure Is A Disincentive To Investment In Renewables
Wind, water and solar power can be scaled up in cost-effective ways to meet our energy demands, freeing us from dependence on both fossil fuels and nuclear power.

 ____________________________________________________________________

Shortly after the hearings we will be in touch with information on how to make written comments on this draft EIS at the FERC website.
Thank you for your commitment to our health and our planet.

You can also visit us on Facebook at CARP.

Rockaway Countdown — 90 Days to Comment on Draft EIS

FERC has just released the draft environmental impact statement (dEIS) for the Rockaway Pipeline, with the following information. The full document can be viewed on the FERC website.

The FERC staff mailed copies of the draft EIS to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; newspapers and libraries in the project area; and parties to this proceeding. Paper copy versions of this EIS were mailed to those specifically requesting them; all others received a CD version. In addition, the draft EIS is available for public viewing on the FERCs website (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of copies are available for distribution and public inspection at:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Public Reference Room
888 First Street NE, Room 2A
Washington, DC 20426
(202) 502-8371

Comment Procedures and Public Meetings

Any person wishing to comment on the draft EIS may do so. To ensure consideration of your comments on the proposal in the final EIS, it is important that the Commission receive your comments before November 25, 2013.
For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the appropriate docket number (CP13-36-000 for the Rockaway Project and CP13-132-000 for the Northeast Connector Project) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has dedicated eFiling expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or efiling@ferc.gov. Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

1. You may file your comments electronically by using the eComment feature, which is located on the Commission’s website at www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. An eComment is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project.

2. You may file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature, which is located on the Commission’s website at www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on eRegister. You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making. A comment on a particular project is considered a Comment on a Filing.

3. You may file a paper copy of your comments at the following address:
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE, Room 1A

4. In addition to or in lieu of sending electronic or written comments, the Commission invites you to attend one of the public comment meetings its staff will conduct in the Rockaway Project area to receive comments on the draft EIS. Interested groups and individuals are encouraged to attend and present oral comments on the draft EIS. Transcripts of the meetings will be available for review in eLibrary under the project docket numbers. All meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m., and are scheduled as follows:

October 22, 2013

Knights of Columbus Rockaway Council 2672
333 Beach 90th Street
Rockaway Beach, NY 11693

October 23, 2013

Aviator Sports & Events Center
3159 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11234