President Obama Approves New Natural Gas Pipeline in Brooklyn and Queens
NEW YORK — A new natural gas pipeline is coming to Brooklyn and Queens, after President Barack Obama cleared the way for it to be built on Tuesday.
The pipeline will run beneath Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways and under Jamaica Bay to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, bringing in more natural gas to serve the city's growing demand, officials said.
The project required federal legislation — and the president's signature — because it affects the parkland in the Gateway National Recreation Area, which includes Floyd Bennett Field.
Officials expect the project, which does not yet have a timeline, to generate nearly 300 construction jobs and $265 million in construction activity, a key boon for the local economy following Hurricane Sandy, said U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who sponsored the legislation that made the pipeline possible.
"This is welcomed news as we seek to rebuild our local economy and our communities," Grimm said in a statement.
The pipeline will branch off from an existing line that moves natural gas from New Jersey to Long Island, and it will end in a new meter station at Floyd Bennett Field, officials said. The gas pipeline that currently serves that area was built about 50 years ago and is too small to carry all the natural gas the city needs, officials said.
Grimm and other proponents of the plan have promised that the pipeline will not infringe on populated or environmentally fragile areas, but the pipeline has attracted some opposition from local residents and environmental groups, according to reports.
Still, the pipeline's supporters include the National Park Service, the Regional Plan Association and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"Given the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, this law could not come at a more critical time for New York City," Bloomberg said in a statement. "This pipeline will help us build a stable, clean-energy future for New Yorkers and will ensure the reliability of the city’s future energy needs."