Southern Brooklyn

Locals Demand More Input On Major Jamaica Bay Projects

The approximate location of the proposed natural gas pipeline.

Activists faced off with officials at a Jamaica Bay Task Force meeting last week, saying the government is sidelining waterfront communities in order to quietly push through major projects, including a deal to bring a natural gas pipeline to Jamaica Bay.

The Rockaway/Gateway gas pipeline outraged locals due to the fact that Transco Williams — one of the largest interstate gas pipeline systems in the country — could destroy as much as 11,000 feet of the nearby marine environment during the installation, which would ultimately connect Brooklyn and Queens to a major gas artery off the coast. After quiet approval from the U.S. House of Representatives, the plans are heading to the Senate – and no one asked Jamaica Bay’s eco-guardians what they thought.

“[The government and Transco Williams] retain information for themselves in order to issue the right of way for these gas lines,” an attendee argued during the meeting, adding that she had not previously heard of the project.

Though not necessarily opposed to the pipeline, critics of the process demanded more accountability, including information to help assess the affects to marine life and risks of a gas leak.

The concerns were expressed at the April 4 meeting of the Jamaica Bay Task Force, a group of residents, scientists, and federal, state, regional, and local agency representatives that share a common interest in the Bay.

Activists worry that the project could set a precedent for other major projects in Jamaica Bay, letting government agencies and private companies snub the communities that live and work around the waters.

That precedent has locals eyeing the government’s actions in Broad Channel, where two ponds with aging, eroded pumping stations need replacing. But if a contract is awarded without the input of environmentalists, the work could end up disrupting the ponds’ role as a landing and grazing ground for birds and other wildlife.

The pipeline is not the only project that has both residents and elected officials concerned about the federal parkland’s environment – and the community feeling jilted.

Recent talks of a plan to expand John F. Kennedy International Airport’s landing strips, increasing its footprint in Jamaica Bay, had residents fuming.

Experts stated the airport has met its capacity, and spreading into the Bay is inevitable, but residents insist this would have devastating effects on migratory birds and other species that are natives of the land.

Comment policy


  1. Who the fuck does Michael Grimm think he is and who the fuck does Bob turner think he represents to write this bill and vote in favor of it. Grimm should keep to Staten Island and not propose legislation that affects our homes, and Turner should not be working towards putting our environment at risk. These goddamn Tea Party asshats need to resign and quick before they do anymore damage.

  2. A Natural Gas line like this into Brooklyn could be a major BOON. My primary concern with a project like this is that they use experienced contractors that are paid what they deserve, instead of the cheapest they can find, and that they treat the ecosystem with respect and do whatever is slightly above reasonable to protect it from long term damage. 

    Our cities cannot stop growing just because it’s going to disturb animals and it’s ridiculous to expect anything of the sort. But we have the ability and the chance to look forward and predict and mitigate the affects of our expansion, something humanity hasn’t done enough of.

    The same goes for the airport. The runways need to be expanded to make room for bigger planes. It’s a safety issue, it’s also a major economical issue that’s going to affect the jobs of millions of people over decades of time. They need to be built. The ecosystem around the bay doesn’t need to be destroyed simultaneously. 

  3. Just how do people think we are going to get our energy needs taken care of ?

    Grimm and Turner are our elected representatives. 

    Lovely language.

  4. I’m not arguing the merits of the pipeline, I’m arguing their writing and passing legislation without input from the community as well as people who are orders of magnitude more qualified to make assessments on the potential environmental impact. That’s not representation, that’s an abuse of their position.

  5. LOL…the following from Mr. Turner:
    New York – Congressman Bob Turner (NY-09) personally called two local groups to share the good news that they had each won a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2012 Environmental Quality Award.
    “This is a great day for the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers and Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES),” Turner said. “These are two extremely deserving groups who do important work on behalf of our community. I was proud to have nominated them, and am even prouder that they have been recognized for their devotion to their respective causes.”

    And yet he kept the pipline info from that group?

  6. Grimm represents Staten Island, not Sheepshead Bay or its surrounding areas and Turner represents the minority of voters who voted for him. Grimm should stick to shitting on his own district and Turner should not be voting for legislation that is a slap in the face of the environmental record this community’s local elected officials have attempted to maintain.

  7. I’m all for preserving nature. But it seems like we might have to bite the bullet and displace a few migrating birds, if we want energy in our homes, and for the most used airport in the world to expand.

  8. Not one block of Grimm’s district will be affected by this pipeline, where as our parks and homes will be put at risk. Turner won a slight majority against a lame duck candidate in a low turnout special election, had he run against Anthony Weiner he would not have stood a chance. Turner should respect the fact the he was voted in to keep a seat warm until its redistricted out of existence, not to disregard the communities he represents and put their parks and environment at risk.

  9. This is called outrage, which I prefer to complacency. Stop getting comfortable with congress abusing its power as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.


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