(PRESS RELEASE) — During much of the past year we have been working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to satisfy the conditions necessary for the issuance of the State’s 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) permit for our Northeast Supply Enhancement Project.
Prior to denying our 401 WQC application on April 20, NYS DEC informed the company that it required additional time to complete its review of potential water quality impacts beyond the statutory permit review period. Williams, with the support of our customer National Grid, fully intends to resubmit the project’s 401 WQC application so that the agency can continue its permit evaluation and provide the clearances necessary to construct this critical piece of pipeline infrastructure.
Natural gas is a critical component of the mix of energy sources necessary to meet the region’s growing energy needs. National Grid – the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S. — estimates that with the added capacity provided by the Northeast Supply Enhancement project, natural gas could displace the equivalent of 3,005,797 gallons of heating oil, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 2.4 million tons per year. Recent cold weather and subsequent heating issues at New York City Housing Authority residential complexes underscores the need for heating system upgrades. National Grid is investing more than $200 million per year to convert their customers from oil to natural gas in New York City and Long Island. The Northeast Supply Enhancement project is critical to make these conversions possible.
We believe that FERC’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) issued March 23, 2018, positively reflects our efforts to collaborate with stakeholders to design this project in an environmentally responsible manner. The DEIS concluding that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the company and FERC. Since this proposal was first introduced in 2016, the project team has worked with numerous stakeholders, including federal, state, and local agencies and entities to develop a route and associated installation methods that minimize impacts to marine resources and results in minimal conflicts with the existing commerce and recreational and commercial uses in Raritan Bay.