For the past week or so, natural gas has been flowing underneath Rockaway’s beaches through a massive 26-inch diameter pipeline.
The activation of a new 3.2-mile pipeline on May 15 allows for liquefied natural gas to flow through the Rockaway Peninsula and into Brooklyn to satisfy the growing demand of 1.8 million customers in Queens and Brooklyn.
The fracked-gas transmission pipeline called the Rockaway Delivery Lateral has been controversial among anti-fracking activists and environmental groups since the inception phase in 2009.
The additional pipeline, which began construction on June 9, 2014, extends from the existing Lower New York Bay Lateral, which is in the Atlantic Ocean, running parallel to the coast of the Peninsula.
The Rockaway Delivery Lateral runs across Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park – wetlands and recreational areas – to a facility used to meter and regulate the flow of natural gas, located on Floyd Bennett Field in an abandoned airplane hanger, within the Gateway National Recreation Area.
Williams Partners’ Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC’s (Transco) pipeline project increases the compression at three existing Transco facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and provides 100,000 dekatherms more per day to be transferred to the new meter and regulating station on Floyd Bennett Field.
“That’s the point where we kind of hand off the gas,” said Williams Spokesman Chris Stockton. “It measures how much gas flows through the line and it also regulates the pressure.”
In total, 647,000 dekatherms per day can be be transmitted through the new Rockaway Pipeline to the National Grid distribution system. From there, the National Grid Pipeline takes the natural gas up Flatbush Avenue and into other communities.