(Williams’ 05/16/18 Statement) — Williams has resubmitted its Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) permit application with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for our Northeast Supply Enhancement Project.
We look forward to the permit application being evaluated in a timely manner, providing the clearances necessary to construct this critical piece of pipeline infrastructure. Assuming a timely evaluation, the project’s timeline has not been impacted by the NYSDEC’s April 20, 2018, decision to deny our original 401 WQC application filed on June 30, 2017. Our resubmitted application now provides the NYSDEC with the additional time it has stated it needs to complete its review of the project. Today’s resubmission follows our April 20 commitment to refile the permit application with the support of our customer, National Grid.
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 carbon dioxide (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 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (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.