Today, the New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act (H.R. 2606) sponsored by Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-S.I./Brooklyn) and introduced with Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) and Robert Turner (R-Brooklyn/Queens), was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The bill allows for the construction and operation of natural gas pipeline facilities in the New York portion of the Gateway National Recreation Area, creating up to 300 local construction jobs, generating revenue, and bringing clean energy to New York City. This is Rep. Grimm's second bill to be signed into law.
"In the aftermath of 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 Rep. Grimm. "The NYC Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act is the perfect example of government supporting private sector job growth here in NYC -- without any federal spending -- while bringing clean, affordable energy to our residents and businesses. At a time when many in NYC have suffered such great loss, this is welcomed news as we seek to rebuild our local economy and our communities."
"Today, the president signed the New York City Natural Gas Enhancement Act into law which will finally make the construction and operation of a new natural gas pipeline in New York City a reality," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "Given the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, this law could not come at a more critical time for New York City. This pipeline will help us build a stable, clean-energy future for New Yorkers and will ensure the reliability of the City's future energy needs."
H.R. 2606 allows for a joint effort between the private sector and all levels of governments, greatly benefitting New York City without any additional federal spending. The project is estimated to generate approximately $265 million in construction activity, almost 300 local construction jobs, and about $8 million in annual local property taxes. It will also help bring additional economical natural gas to New York City and will restore the hangers at Floyd Bennett Field to historical standards at no cost to the government.
The current pipeline system serving the Brooklyn and Queens portion of NYC was built 40 to 60 years ago and can no longer meet current demand. H.R. 2606 will allow for a new pipeline to be built off the existing Williams pipeline that currently brings natural gas from New Jersey to Long Island. The new pipeline will pass underneath Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways portion of Queens and under Jamaica Bay to a new meter and regulator station on Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. The planned route will avoid residential, commercial, and environmentally sensitive areas.
This project was included in the PlaNYC2030 report and is supported by the City of New York, the National Parks Service, and the Regional Plan Association. It first passed the House on February 6, 2012.