Williams has added a new delivery point in New York City through the construction of a new 3.2 mile pipeline connecting the Transco pipeline’s existing Lower New York Bay Lateral to the Rockaway Peninsula. The project, which was placed into service on May 15, 2015, included one mile of horizontal directional drilled (HDD) and 2.2 miles of conventionally laid 26” pipeline connected to the existing Transco system by two 18” hot taps and a subsea manifold used for maintenance and testing.
National Grid, the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeast, coordinated its efforts with Williams to meet the growing demand for natural gas in its market area. The natural gas pipeline system that serves Brooklyn and Queens (including the Rockaways) was constructed between 40 and 60 years ago. While it was state of the art then, it no longer has the capacity to reliably serve the approximately 1,250,000 natural gas customers in those areas. The need to expand natural gas supplies into New York City was recognized in PLANYC 2030 and outlined in this presentation at the New York PSC Gas Technical Conference in 2013.
Williams has been working with federal and state agencies over the last six years to develop the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project. The Project is regulated under Section 7 (c) of the Natural Gas Act. Key Project regulatory milestones are outlined below.
- FERC pre-filing: March 2009
- H.R. 2606 signed into law: November 27, 2012
- Application for FERC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity filed: January 7, 2013
- Draft Environmental Impact Statement issued: October 4, 2013
- Final Environmental Impact Statement issued: February 28, 2014
- FERC issues Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity: May 8, 2014
- NYDEC issues Water Quality Certification and Permit for Excavation & Fill of Navigable Waters: May 19, 2014
- NOAA Fisheries issues Incidental Harassment Authorization: May 29, 2014
- USACE Permit issued: June 4, 2014
- NPS lease executed: June 4, 2014
- NYSOGS Permit issued: June 5, 2014
- FERC issues Notice to Proceed for M&R Facility: June 5, 2014
- FERC issues Notice to Proceed for remaining Project facilities: expected early June 2014
- Construction began on June 9, 2014
- Project was placed into service on May 15, 2015
Safety Measures Implemented
All project team members undergo a rigorous environmental and safety training program to ensure their personal safety. Williams has also worked to create an Offshore Safety Measures Plan to highlight the work area for the safety of work crews and other boaters.
Description of Construction Activities
For offshore construction, the pipeline was installed utilizing several offshore construction vessels of various sizes, including barges with high capacity cranes, material barges, and utility, tug and picket boats. The vessels worked together to fabricate the pipeline from 40 foot pipe joints and to make excavations for burial below the seabed.
Onshore construction included the construction of a meter and regulating (M&R) facility within Hangars 1 and 2 on Floyd Bennett Field within Gateway National Recreation Area. As part of construction, Williams is also in the process of rehabilitating the hangars to historical significance.