New NatGas Pipeline to NYC Receives FERC Endorsement

A proposed natural gas pipeline extension that would run from Staten Island through Bayonne, NJ, and Jersey City to the West Village in Manhattan has received the endorsement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commisssion (FERC), the agency that has final say in the $850 million project.

The project has faced opposition from groups in both NY and NJ. A final decision will be made in a vote by the five-member commission.

The project, planned by Spectra Energy of Houston, consists of 15 miles of new pipeline that would run from Staten Island through Bayonne, N.J., and Jersey City to the West Village in Manhattan, where it would connect to Con Edison’s distribution system beneath West Street. It would lie as deep as 200 feet under both industrial lands and highly populated areas, including homes, and cross more than 30 bodies of water, including the Hudson River.

The project also involves replacing another five miles of existing pipeline between Staten Island and Linden, N.J., and installing associated equipment and facilities to be built in both states and Connecticut.

The pipeline would draw natural gas from many sources, including the Marcellus Shale, a rich natural gas field that runs across several states including New York. New York City’s mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, supports the project, the first major natural gas transmission line to reach the city in 40 years, as a way to help meet the city’s future demand for natural gas.*

Mayor Bloomberg is happy to have cheap, abundant shale gas come to NYC, but he’s not willing to let large tracks of land around the NYC watershed drill for that gas.

*New York Times Green Blog (Mar 19, 2012) – Regulatory Staff Endorses Gas Pipeline for New York City and New Jersey