New York City residents concerned over plans to build new gas pipeline

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jun 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-29 19:10:55-04

Yards of pipeline sit along Flatbush Avenue in Marine Park Brooklyn.

Sure, they’re empty now.

But some are worried they’ll soon be filled with fracked gas.

Dozens of concerned citizens and members of the Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline or CARP lined up along the pipelines path to warn people about the potential dangers the pipeline could pump in.

The group says there were at least 80 explosions from natural gas lines in 2012.

And 15 people were injured just last month in New Jersey when Williams, the company working on the other end of this pipeline, had its latest accident.

Members of CARP say they were shocked because the pipeline popped up right around Gateway National Recreation Area.  A place where industrialization was banned when the park was first created.

“It required an act of Congress passed stealthily last year to undo that,” said Maureen Healy.

That act was lead by Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm.  Grimm sponsored the Bill that allows the construction and operation of a pipeline through the area.

We could not reach Grimm in time for the story, but in a press release after the bill became law last year Grimm said quote:

“The current pipeline system serving the Brooklyn and Queens portion of NYC was built 40 to 60 years ago and can no longer meet current demand. The planned route will avoid residential, commercial, and environmentally sensitive areas.”

But members of CARP says that’s far from the case with pipes for the pipeline located just across the street from a Greenway outside Floyd Bennett Field.  Also part of that pipeline will run under Jamaica Bay, a wildlife refuge that’s home for several endangered species.

“We can’t take chances with people’s lives, we can’t pollute the environment, and we can’t destroy Jamaica Bay,” said JK Canepa of CARP.

The project still needs to be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

If approved, construction on the final phase of the project could begin later this year.