Williams Partners L.P. will have to wait six months to learn whether federal regulators will approve its proposed 3.17-mile natural-gas pipeline project off the coast of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens. Williams had planned to start work on the $182-million Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project this month. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said in August that it would complete the project's final environmental impact statement on Feb. 28, 2014, with a 90-day authorization decision deadline slated for May 29.
Williams had anticipated already starting work on the meter and regulator stations of the planned project, which will connect with its existing Transco pipeline. The project involves building a 26-in.-dia lateral pipeline about 2.9 miles off the coast and 0.3 miles onshore, under Jacob Riis Park to Floyd Bennett Field in Queens. Using conventional marine lay and trenching methods, it includes building the stations inside one of the Floyd Bennett Field hangar buildings.
The FERC delay will not affect the pipeline's November 2014 in-service date, says Chris Stockton, a Williams spokesman. "Our goal is to receive our FERC approval as early as March 2014" and begin both station and offshore construction the next month, Stockton says. FERC's May 29 date is a deadline, "not an issuance date," he adds.
The Transco project would connect with National Grid's proposed 12,000-ft-long, 26-in.-dia gas main line in Flatbush Avenue from Floyd Bennett Field to Avenue U, says Karen Young, a National Grid spokeswoman. The utility also is building two 1.6-mile pipelines under the Rockaway Inlet.
The design calls for one line to connect with the proposed Transco project. The other connects National Grid's existing distribution systems in Brooklyn and Queens to each other, providing a back feed for both areas, she says. This project is expected to be completed in November.