Williams is adding 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 scope includes 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. Project activities will take place on a 24 hour basis beginning in early June 2014. The project is expected to be placed into service in the first quarter of 2015.
National Grid, the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeast, is coordinating 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
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 will be 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 will work together to fabricate the pipeline from 40 foot pipe joints and to make excavations for burial below the seabed. At times the vessels will be visible from the shoreline. The perimeter of the offshore work area will be marked with lighted buoys to create a safe zone for construction activities.
The HDD will begin at an onshore entry point on the Rockaway Peninsula. The initial activities at the site will include marking out the workspace and preparing (grading) the site. The HDD drill activity begins with the completion of a pilot hole from onshore to the offshore exit pit. Once complete, three passes of reaming will take place which brings the drill hole to the size necessary for installation of the project pipe. When the drill is complete, the HDD pipeline string, which was laid by the offshore lay barge during the drilling activity, will be pulled back into the hole from offshore to onshore. A fence and noise reducing structure will be erected around the equipment. The bike path will be temporarily closed at the beginning and end of HDD operations. Temporary signs will be posted to indicate the path is closed and identify the route detour.
Onshore construction will also include 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 will also rehabilitate the hangars to historical significance.
Williams is committed to meeting the environmental requirements during the planning, construction, and operation of the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project. Williams has developed an Environmental Compliance Management Plan to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to achieve compliance with the various permits and plans that have been developed for the Project.
Our Environmental Management Team has primary responsibility for environmental compliance, including acquisition of applicable environmental permits and clearances, communications with all applicable federal and state agencies, and ensuring that construction is performed in compliance with the FERC Certificate, related environmental documents, and Transco’s Plans and Procedures. This team includes environmental inspectors (EIs), protected species observers, water quality monitors, and cultural monitors. The EIs will conduct on-site inspections for the entire duration of construction to ensure the Project is being constructed in compliance with all permits and plans. In addition, all Project personnel are given environmental and safety training, and are aware of permit conditions. During construction the company will file weekly reports with the FERC. These reports will be posted to the FERC docket. Click here to view the latest Construction Status Report.
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