Environmental groups claim a judicial victory after more than a year of contesting changes to National Grid’s Greenpoint hub, but the utility is pushing back. National Grid stopped construction work at a Brooklyn facility that may be used to load and unload trucks carrying liquefied natural gas, or LNG, last week after a court order.
LNG is primarily methane gas that has been cooled to a liquid condition and stored at minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit, which is nearly as cold as Saturn. The technique decreases the amount of the gas, making transportation easier. However, transporting the flammable gas throughout the city has created environmental and safety issues.
Of July 27, a state Supreme Court judge ordered National Grid to suspend building on a pipeline that would support LNG trucking to its North Brooklyn location, which is also at the centre of a contentious pipeline plan. The city, the Fire Department, and National Grid were sued by the Sane Energy Project and Cooper Park Resident Council to stop the work. According to the lawsuit, relevant approvals were not acquired, and an environmental impact assessment of trucking-related activities was not performed.
National Grid, on the other hand, argued against the restraining order in a legal brief on Thursday, claiming that environmental groups are misinterpreting its plan for the Greenpoint site. Karen Young, a representative for National Grid, said the work was done in accordance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. National Grid proposed trucking LNG from outside the city to its Greenpoint facility via the Bronx and Queens.The corporation requested a “transport variance” from the FDNY in November 2016, following up on a previous application, because hauling LNG is forbidden within city borders, although the request has yet to be granted or denied. Construction linked to National Grid’s variance petition must be halted until the lawsuit is resolved, according to Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Karen Rothenberg.