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

Great News!

The NYS Department of State, which has responsibility for determining whether the Rockaway Lateral is “consistent” with the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, was scheduled to release its report on September 3. Instead, it has requested a second stay, until December 5, 2013, in making its determination.

This almost certainly means that NYS Department of State has concerns about the project and wants additional time to review the matter before making a final determination. The NYS Department of State has the power to kill the pipeline if it feels it is inconsistent with the Coastal Zone Management Program.

Catch an Interview with CARP on “The Many Shades of Green”

Today, Wednesday, July 24, host Maxine Margo Rubin interviews CARP’s Maureen Healy about the Rockaway Pipeline and the Liberty Port Ambrose LNG terminal.

To Listen Live

The interview will air today, Wednesday, July 24th at 2 p.m. To listen live, go to BBox Radio and click “Listen.”

To Listen Later

The interview will be archived at BBox Radio and at Many Shades of Green.

The show will re-stream on July 25 at 9:30 a.m., July 27 at 8:00 a.m., and July 29 at 10:30 a.m.

Stop the Liberty LNG Port!

Liberty Port Ambrose has applied to construct a deepwater LNG (liquefied natural gas) port just off Jones Beach. This will accelerate the pressure to frack and crush efforts to move to renewable energy. This project is being super-fast-tracked — we must stop it now! There are two things you can do to stop this port:

Contact the Governors Now! Tell Governors Cuomo and Christie to veto this project. Click here to take action now.

Attend a Public Hearing. There will be two public hearings only: one in New York and one in New Jersey. We urge you to attend. These hearings are our only chance to make our concerns heard. Details here.

First it was the gas. Then it was the pipelines. Now it’s LNG.

Liberty Port Ambrose has applied to construct a liquefied natural gas port just off Jones Beach – in the very place where a wind farm project is planned. Mammoth regasification vessels will be docking there every day, discharging wastewater and chemicals, pumping out greenhouse gas emission. The impact on sea life will be immediate and devastating. [Continue reading here.]

Rockaway Pipeline Takes On New Significance

At the beginning of the year, Williams/Transco applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to build the Rockaway Lateral pipeline project. The docket number for this application is CP13-36.

CARP has been puzzling for some time over an oddity of the Rockaway project: National Grid’s portion of the pipeline, phase 1 of the Brooklyn-Queens Interconnect (BQI), has been treated as an entirely separate project.

Even though the BQI is on national parkland, even though it transits the environmentally sensitive Jamaica Bay inlet, it has entirely escaped review by Congress, by state and federal regulatory bodies, and by the public. It has been subject only to New York City environmental review.

CARP member Maureen Healy pursued the matter with legal counsel familiar with pipeline issues and then submitted a letter to FERC that clearly and boldly lays out CARP’s concerns. Her letter, which challenges the segmentation of this project, is a must-read.

Coupled with other natural gas infrastructure developments in this area, the Rockaway Lateral is taking on new significance.

  • FERC recently announced that it would consider the Rockaway application jointly with another Williams docket, CP13-132: an application to upgrade three of its compressor stations, two in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania. This upgrade will allow Williams to send an additional 100,000 dth/day of natural gas to the Rockaway Lateral. This gas will come from the Marcellus Shale.
  • Liberty Natural Gas, an intervenor in the Rockaway application, has plans to open an import LNG terminal at Port Ambrose, about 19 miles south of Jones Beach. On the face of it, this makes no sense: there is already a glut of natural gas in the area, and more coming soon via Spectra. But if Liberty is able to open an LNG terminal, there is a high probability that it would quickly apply for a reversal: from import to export. And in all liklihood, that gas would be coming not from Trinidad or Louisiana but from the Marcellus Shale.

All of these projects together — the National Grid BQI, the Rockaway Lateral, the Williams compressor station upgrades, and the Liberty LNG Terminal — will increase political pressure to allow fracking in New York State.

If we are to prevent this from happening, and protect our national parks from further land grabs by private corporations — if we are ever going to move to renewable energy and start putting the brakes on climate change — we need to stop these projects.

CARP will be stepping up its outreach efforts in the near future. We welcome input from all of you, particularly those of you with professional expertise in this area. And we will keep you posted about future developments and upcoming events.