DEC Comment: Shellfish Offsets
The Williams NESE fracked gas pipeline would endanger local communities and the environment, while further locking our state into dependence on fossil fuels at a time when we must be shifting as quickly as possible to 100 percent renewable energy.
When the DEC denied Williams a WQC on May 15, 2019, a major reason it gave for the denial was the harm the pipeline would inflict on shellfish. Transco itself predicted “100% mortality” to all shellfish in the pipeline’s path.
When Williams re-applied on May 17, 2019, one of the mitigation measures it proposed was buried deep in an appendix and concerned “shellfish offsets”—money given to shellfish restoration programs in places other than where the pipeline would be built. Williams writes: “A per-clam value of $0.25 was applied based on similar calculations used for mitigation of hard clam impacts by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) at the request NYSDEC [...]. The same value was applied to all hard clams regardless of size. Based on the inputs above, Transco proposes to provide NYSDEC (or a NYSDEC-approved mitigation fund manager) a total of $3,400,000 to compensate for Project-related impacts on benthic resources in New York.”