A new pipeline called the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project is under construction in the Rockaways. It will deliver 647,000 dekatherms of natural gas to New York City each day — enough to power 2.5 million homes. Activists ... say the project is inherently dangerous and is just the latest sign of a broken approval and monitoring process for the United States’ energy infrastructure. — Al Jazeera
Concerned activists and locals may have good reason to be worried. Prior pipeline accidents, such as the 2010 San Bruno explosion, have caused extensive damage and even deaths. The Al Jazeera article notes that "since 1986, there have been about 8,000 significant pipeline incidents in the United States, which have resulted in over 500 deaths, more than 2,300 injuries and billions of dollars in damage." Additionally, Williams, the company contracted to build the pipeline, is already subject to a federal probe after a string of incidents at other pipelines. Designed to stretch beneath popular beaches, the Rockaway pipeline would be particularly vulnerable, some argue, pointing to the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
Incidentally, the pipeline would run beneath Fort Tilden, currently the host of MoMA PS1's "Rockaway!," a public arts exhibition. In an already abandoned structure in the dunes, Patti Smith set up a gilded four-post bed that is exposed to the weather. As the summer storms barrage the linens, the piece slowly deteriorates while remaining in place, supposedly becoming a "symbol of courage and resilience." Argentine-artist Adrián Villar Rojas crafted unfired clay and straw sculptures inspired by birds' nests. Placed around Fort Tilden, "these nests invite local birds to inhabit them, offering a temporary home in this beautiful and fragile environment."
Intended to signal the resilience of the area after Sandy, "Rockaway!" might very well end up being prophetic in addition to retrospective. Let's hope not.
More information on the efforts to stop the pipeline can be found here: http://carpny.org/