Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) is urging the Williams Co., one of the largest-volume transporters of natural gas in the United States, to commit to offset mitigation in Jamaica Bay that will be affected by the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project— a plan designed by Williams to deliver additional natural gas to Southern Queens and the Rockaways.
In his letter to the Williams Co., Goldfeder requested the company commit to remediate any damages the pipeline installation may cause to the ocean habitat as well as assist in mitigation efforts in Jamaica Bay. Specifically, he asked that they provide funding to repair and improve the adjacent artificial reef as well as invest in the waters of Jamaica Bay through wetlands mitigation.
“Williams has committed to being a strong community partner, but they must agree to oversee and repair any potential damage to nearby artificial reef and take into consideration funding for offset mitigation in Jamaica Bay to restore our marshlands,” he said in a press release.
The ongoing project involves installing a 3.2-mile, 26-inch-diameter pipeline that would create an additional delivery point from the existing system into National Grid. The line would run approximately 2.9 miles offshore and 0.3 miles onshore under Jacob Riis Park to a tie-in point with National Grid in Brooklyn. That means it will run under the Rockway Inlet, the channel that connects Jamaica Bay to the Atlantic Ocean, affecting wildlife there.
“The installation of the ocean portion of this project will cause a substantial environmental impact on marine wild life, essential fish habitat and to the adjacent reef which must be mitigated — both at the reef site and with offset mitigation in Jamaica Bay for marsh restoration projects,” said Dan Mundy Sr., president of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers.