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President Obama Approves Measure Allowing Natural Gas Pipeline Through Rockaways, Brooklyn

Measure Was Sponsored By Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Brooklyn-S.I.)
President Barack Obama (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images), Representative Michael Grimm (credit: grimm.house.gov)

President Barack Obama (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images), Representative Michael Grimm (credit: grimm.house.gov)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A measure allowing construction of a natural gas pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

The New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act authorizes Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to issue permits to build and maintain the pipeline, which is aimed at boosting access to natural gas in the region.

WEB EXTRA: Read The Law Here (PDF)

The three-mile pipeline would run from the Atlantic Ocean beneath Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways and under Jamaica Bay to Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field.

Some area residents and environmental activists have voiced safety and planning concerns about the project.

Republican Rep. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, applauded the approval of the measure.

Grimm said the pipeline could bring as much as $265 million in revenue and create about 300 construction jobs.

In a statement, Grimm called the project an important economic boost to the region in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

The current pipeline system serving Brooklyn and Queens was built 40 to 60 years ago and can no longer meet current demand, Grimm said.

The new measure will allow for a new pipeline to be built off the existing Williams pipeline that currently brings natural gas from New Jersey to Long Island.

According to Grimm, the planned route will avoid residential, commercial and environmentally sensitive areas.

The measure was sponsored by Grimm and introduced with Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) and Robert Turner (R-Brooklyn/Queens).

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