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Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)

FERC issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Rockaway Delivery Lateral and Northeast Connector Projects (Docket No. CP13-36-000 and CP13-132-000)

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project and the Northeast Connector Project (Projects). The Projects are proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company (Transco).

The Projects would provide firm delivery lateral service of 647 thousand dekatherms per day of natural gas to National Grid’s local distribution system in the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, New York. The proposed facilities would be located in Brooklyn and Queens Counties, New York; York County, Pennsylvania; and Mercer and Middlesex Counties, New Jersey, and include:

  • construction and operation of 3.2 miles of new 26-inch-diameter pipeline;

  • construction and operation of one new metering and regulating station;

  • modification of three existing compressor stations;

  • installation of an offshore cathodic protection system; and

  • various onshore and offshore ancillary facilities including taps, valves, manifolds, launchers, and receivers.

The draft EIS has been prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1500–1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380).

The conclusions and recommendations presented in the draft EIS are those of the FERC environmental staff. Input from the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Maine Fisheries Service; and City of New York as cooperating agencies, was considered during the development of the staff’s conclusions and recommendations. However, these agencies would present their own conclusions and recommendations in their respective Record of Decision, and would adopt the final EIS per 40 CFR 1506.3 if, after an independent review of the document, they conclude that their permitting requirements have been satisfied.

FERC staff concludes that, if the proposed Projects are approved, constructed, and operated, the proposed facilities would result in some adverse environmental impacts. However, these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Transco’s proposed minimization and mitigation measures and the additional measures recommended in the draft EIS. These conclusions are supported by the following:

  • the Projects would be located on federal, state, or city government lands or existing Transco properties;

  • Transco would obtain all necessary federal authorizations prior to commencement of construction;

  • Transco would reduce and mitigate impacts on natural resources during construction of the proposed Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project with the use of mid-line buoys to minimize cable sweep impacts on the seafloor, restore the seafloor to original grade, and by implementing its offshore Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plan; Horizontal Directional Drill Monitoring and Contingency Plan; and Construction Spill Plans for Oil and Hazardous Materials; and

  • Transco would complete all necessary surveys for cultural resources, and the appropriate consultations with the State Historic Preservation Officers would be completed before initiating construction.

Comments on the draft EIS must be received in Washington, DC on or before November 25, 2013. Once the final EIS is issued, the FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the Projects.

Electronically file your comments with FERC
eFile your Comments on or before November 25, 2013