State Delays Decision on National Grid Expansion of Greenpoint Gas Facility—Again

These excerpts are reprinted from City Limits. Read the full article by Liz Donovan.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has once again delayed the timeline of National Grid’s permit application related to the controversial Greenpoint Energy Project in North Brooklyn.

The application timeline, which was set for a decision on May 7, has been suspended “subject to National Grid commencing and resolving a public proceeding before the New York State Public Service Commission [PSC] to evaluate whether the proposed project is demonstrably needed for reliability purposes,” a DEC spokesperson told City Limits in a statement Sunday night.

But critics argue that adding new infrastructure supporting fracked gas is not in line with the state’s aggressive climate legislation, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which requires the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990-levels by 2030, and 85 percent by 2050.

In August, the Public Service Commission unanimously voted to approve a rate increase associated with the pipeline, a decision protested by legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Shortly after, Brooklyn residents filed a federal civil rights complaint against National Grid alleging that the pipeline project disproportionately and negatively impacts communities of color, who face higher-than-average asthma rates that may be linked to high-polluting infrastructure, —such as highways, power plants and waste transfer facilities—concentrated in their neighborhoods.

The Department of Public Service was also named in the complaint, which was filed by the Civil Rights and Disability Justice Clinic at New York Law School and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, for not conducting an adequate assessment of how the project would affect Black and Latino residents in its vicinity.