Pipeline approval will destroy our crops, gardeners say • Brooklyn Paper

Pipeline approval will destroy our crops, gardeners say

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

It’s full steam ahead for plans to run a controversial natural gas pipeline through Floyd Bennett Field — a move members of the Floyd Bennett Gardeners Association say will kill their crops.

President Obama has signed the bill that will allow Transco Williams to build a pipeline that will stretch from the Atlantic Ocean through the Rockaways and Floyd Bennett Field to a relay facility on Flatbush Avenue. Gateway national recreation area, which Floyd Bennett Field is a part of, will get a yearly stipend for having the pipeline and metering station on its land.

But green-thumbed residents were outraged by the decision, claiming that both the pipeline and the metering station will rest a mere 100 yards to their garden plots — an emissions-belching facility Transco Williams won’t make more environmentally friendly, they claim.

“[Transco] claims that the pollutants they’re putting out are within Environmental Protection Agency standards,” said Gardener’s Association member Adriann Musson. “I suggested they put in filters to reduce emissions, which would be a good gesture among neighbors. They said it wouldn’t be cost affective.”

Rep. Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge), who sponsored the bill, hailed the passage of the New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act as a boon to working-class residents struggling to find a job in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

“New York City is in desperate need of revenue and jobs, which is why I am thrilled that my legislation was signed into law today,” said Grimm, who added that the pipeline project, dubbed the Rockaway Delivery Lateral, will generate an estimated $265 million in construction costs, create 300 jobs, and haul in an estimated $8 million in annual property taxes,

Yet Floyd Bennett Field gardeners disagreed with Grimm, claiming that a natural gas pipeline shouldn’t be built in an area that could be destroyed in a severe storm like Hurricane Sandy.

“The Rockaways were destroyed by Sandy and you want to put a new gas line in there?” Musson asked. “They don’t even know if they’re going to rebuild there. I think they need to just put this on hold for awhile.”

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

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