Brooklyn Boro

Pipeline opponents take aim at National Grid vaporizer project

January 27, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Community groups in Northern and Central Brooklyn are now calling on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to force the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a combined environmental review of the impacts of National Grid’s much-debated North Brooklyn Pipeline and the utility’s plan to build two new gas vaporizers at the utility’s liquid national gas storage depot in Greenpoint.

Natural gas is often transported in a liquid form, and vaporizers are needed to heat it back into gas. The gas then enters the distribution system and is delivered to the end user.

Opponents have criticized the vaporizer project, saying it violates the state’s climate and environmental justice laws. The vaporizers, they say, would increase air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the area.

On Thursday, Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velazquez, Brooklyn Councilmember Lincoln Restler, Brooklyn Assemblymember Emily Gallagher and other officials, called on the DEC and Gov. Kathy Hochul to deny the permit for the vaporizers.

“We need parks, not more fracked gas,” testified Assemblymember Maritza Davila last year, who represents parts of East Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bed-Stuy.

In this Oct. 7, 2021, photo, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Greenpoint-Long Island City-East Side Manhattan), presides during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. Bill Clark/Pool via AP

The opponents’ civil rights complaint submitted to the DEC and the federal Department of Transportation maintains that because the liquid natural gas (LNG) facility and pipeline are combined projects, environmental assessment needed to be conducted on both of them together, not only on the LNG facility, which is what the DEC did.

The air permit that would enable construction of the vaporizers is slated to be issued on Feb. 7, and would allow additional emissions to handle the increased flow of gas the pipeline would deliver to the LNG facility, opponents of the project say.

Assemblymember Emily Gallagher (D-Northern Brooklyn). Photo courtesy of NYS Assembly

Anjana Malhorta, senior attorney at the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, commented, “Issuing this air permit, would without an environmental review of the pipeline with the Greenpoint LNG vaporizer expansion, be a clear violation of state law and Title VI and significantly endanger the health, safety, and well-being of local residents by allowing toxins to infiltrate neighborhoods already burdened by high rates of asthma.

“The DEC discriminated against our clients by ignoring the environmental impacts that this project would impose on communities of color in violation of state law and Title VI. The EPA must bring DEC into compliance with Title VI by requiring it to conduct an environmental assessment of the pipeline with the LNG facility before making any decision, and this pipeline must be shut down and the gas needs to be turned off until that happens,” she added.

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