“Feds Launch a Second Civil Rights Investigation Into Brooklyn Gas Pipeline”
A second federal agency is kicking off a civil rights probe into the approval of part of a natural gas pipeline snaking through Brooklyn.
The U.S. Department of Transportation will investigate whether the state Department of Public Service violated federal discrimination laws when the Public Service Commission gave thumbs up to National Grid’s North Brooklyn Pipeline in August, according to a letter from DOT sent Friday and obtained by THE CITY.
The investigation is the second of its kind in response to a complaint filed in August by lawyers on behalf of several Brooklyn community groups. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is examining the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s actions in a related probe announced in October.
“We’re really glad the DOT is investigating because it’s a terrible precedent and really harmful for these communities, and it’s just kind of another way that state agencies skirt the law to allow infrastructure to be built in communities of color without adequate protection,” said Anjana Malhotra, a lawyer at the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, who filed the complaint.