The Spectra Pipeline, which will bring natural gas to new areas around New York and New Jersey, has been given the green light. Also called the NJ-NY Expansion Project, it was finally approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and received with a mixed response. The pipeline was approved as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030 report to divert reliance upon coal energy, but the construction of the pipeline could be invasive for some residents.
The approval of the pipeline was met with confusion as the Mayor later claimed support for the ban on hydrofracking. Anti-fracking groups have long been opposed to the pipeline, which will include shale gas from the infamous Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania. Shale gas is derived from the source through controversial and environmentally damaging hydrofracking.
Aside from the hydrofracking issue, the pipeline would pass through some heavily populated neighborhoods in New Jersey. This would not only disrupt daily life with new construction and the occupation of commercial and residential yards by the pipeline, but also expose the residents of these neighborhoods to the danger of gas pipeline explosions.
Although the pipeline has been approved, how it will be built remains to be seen. Several companies are suggesting alternatives, such as building the pipe underneath the Hudson. No decision on the final location of the pipeline has been made.
Images via Spectra Energy