Gastastrophe! Planters say Floyd Bennett pipeline won’t make their garden grow

Nervous gardeners: Green-thumbed locals Ed and Christine Bressel are worried that the proposed pipeline extension, scheduled to weave its way through Marine Park in late 2013, could put their precious garlic and tomato harvests in jeopardy.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Veggies, noise, and pollution don’t mix, angry members of the Floyd Bennett Gardener Association fumed last week as they socked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with a laundry list of complaints against the proposed Transco Pipeline extension — a natural gas passage that would boost the National Grid, but plunk a heating and cooling station inside two Floyd Bennett Field hangers.

The new pipeline would likely kill off the gardeners’ beloved vegetable plots, deter the area’s abundant wildlife, adversely affect the Aviator Sports Complex, and change their jewel of a national park forever, critics say.

“People say that Floyd Bennett Field is the pearl of Marine Park,” said longtime gardener Lois Pinetree. “This isn’t how you treat a pearl, by industrializing it. The area’s wildlife respond to vibrations in the ground and the pollution. I can only assume how the noise and exhaust they generate will affect the birds.”

A gas pipeline is a big industrial no-no, added Jill Weingarten, a science teacher and association member.

“I can tell you the heating on the cooling units they are installing are going to burn gas, and pollute my park,” she said.

The unit will be tailored to offset any quality of life conflicts, said the pipeline’s operator — the Williams Company — which brings gas to the New York-New Jersey area via the Gulf coast, and is seeking congressional approval to lease the hangars.

“We are designing the meter station with enhanced noise mitigation materials and techniques to address any ambient noise created by the fans,” said spokesman Chris Stockton. “With regard to emissions, these are technologically sophisticated, low-nox engines, so we don’t believe that should be an issue.”

But Transco’s safety measures were cold comfort for Weingarten, who worried that the nearby Aviator Sports and Events complex could go up in smoke if concerned parents stopped bringing their children to the sports complex.

“This place was built for recreation, and there’s nothing recreational about a metering station,” she said.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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