What is the Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipeline (NESE)?
It’s a 23-mile gas pipeline planned by Williams Transco, an Oklahoma-based company with a poor safety record. It will connect New Jersey to Rockaway and run under the sea floor within a mile of Staten Island. From there it will enter the Rockaway Lateral, an existing pipeline. The purpose will be to bring fracked gas from the Marsellus Shale region.
Why is the Williams pipeline is bad for NYC?
- Risks to human health and to marine life
- Fracked gas is a bad climate actor
- Williams has a poor safety record
- The pipeline undercuts state and city promises on climate
Williams’ application is before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), but NY State has the power to stop this pipeline by denying requisite permits.
Next Press Release Coming Late January 2019
The final environmental impact statement was originally set for release in September 2018. But FERC has decided to delay and the statement is expected to be announced on Jan 25th, 2019 (FERC Notice of Schedule).
If FERC determines that the proposed pipeline is or will be required by the present or future “public convenience and necessity,” then the agency will approve the project.
However, NYSDEC (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation) will still have the power to block the pipeline by denying requisite permits, even if FERC approves. NYSDEC will make their decision by May 16th.
A map of the planned location of the Williams Pipeline:
Campaign Update 10/15/18: Final Environmental Impact Statement Delayed
Campaign Update 7/24/18: Canvassing at NYCHA Housing in the Rockaways
Over twenty volunteers went door-to-door at the Ocean Bay Projects in Rockaway to gather signatures to petition against the Williams Pipeline. The effort proved to be successful as word spread around to this already battered frontline community. 89 doors knocked on and nearly 200 petition signatures obtained, plus great conversations were had with the residents, who clearly don’t want a pipeline built off of their beach.
Campaign Update 7/8/18: Full house at the All Borough Meeting at Brooklyn Commons
Speakers representing environmental groups across New York, as well as, citizens stood up and spoke out against the Williams Pipeline. This open dialogue has encouraged us to share our facts and helps get everyone on the same page. A well-coordinated defense is our best chance at winning this battle.
Campaign Update 6/10/18
Williams’ application is before the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC), which expects to issue its Final Environmental Impact Statement in September 2018 and a decision on the pipeline in December 2018.
FERC, in all likelihood, will approve this project. But the project can’t move forward without several state permits. In April, the New York State Department of Environmental Protection denied a water quality certificate for this project, but the denial was without prejudice and Williams has already re-applied. We are asking Governor Cuomo to deny Williams the needed water quality certificate on the merits with prejudice. Denying these permits would eliminate the risks that this pipeline poses to the health, safety, finances, and future of New Yorkers.
Recap: Williams Pipeline Hearing on April 26th, 2018, 87 Citizens Testify
Why the Williams Pipeline Is Bad For New York City
Risks to human health and to marine life.
This pipeline will take more than a year to build, including periods where work would proceed around the clock. Its installation will churn up arsenic, lead, DDT, and PCBs from the sea floor. The noise and vibration from construction will also be harmful to humpback whales, oysters, clams, and the Atlantic sturgeon, an endangered species.
Fracked gas is a particularly bad climate actor.
It’s essentially methane, a greenhouse gas that captures 84 times as much heat as carbon dioxide in the initial 20 years after it’s emitted. Building a new pipeline in areas ravaged by Superstorm Sandy is simply unconscionable. Hurricanes Harvey and Maria are horrifying reminders of the destructive force of storms in an age of warming temperatures. If we want to confront the threat of climate change, we must end our reliance on fossil fuels.
The pipeline undercuts state and city promises on climate.
New York State is committed to a) getting 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and b) New York City is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. A new pipeline to carry fracked gas would undermine these commitments.
Williams has a poor safety record.
Since 2008, ten Williams/Transco pipelines and compressor stations have exploded and/or caught fire. The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has repeatedly fined Williams for violations of safety procedures. New Yorkers will be the first responders, placed in serious danger, in the event of a fire or explosion.
There’s no need for the gas.
Williams has not shown a need for this pipeline and there’s no evidence that New York City is in need of more gas. We should be investing in renewable forms of energy, such as wind and solar, rather than dirty fossil fuels.
New York gas customers would foot the bill.
Williams says this project would cost $926.5 million to build. If demand for the additional gas fails to materialize, National Grid’s customers in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island will be forced to pay for the project through higher rates.
Stop the Williams Pipeline NY (NESE Pipeline) Campaign organized by 350BK, Surfrider NYC Chapter, Sane Energy Project, Food & Water Watch, New York Communities For Change, United For ACtion and NY/NJ Baykeeper.