TransGas seeks to construct a 1,100 megawatt generating facility on land that the City intends to convert to a public park. In October 1999, Brooklyn Community Board 1 submitted plans to the Department of City Planning to rezone the Brooklyn East River waterfront in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The rezoning was in response to the decline in manufacturing activity and the increase in residential demand in the area. The rezoning also envisioned a 28-acre park on the waterfront below Bushwick Inlet in Greenpoint. In March 2001, TransGas Energy Systems purchased an option to buy 1 North 12th Street, located within the site of the proposed park, as a site for a power plant. In May 2005, the City adopted the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Rezoning Plan. 2 CityLand 67 (June 15, 2005).
The City and TransGas then each embarked on condemnation proceedings for their respective, mutually exclusive, projects. In November 2006, Second Department ruled that TransGas lacked the authority to condemn property for its Brooklyn waterfront power plant absent approval from the New York State Board of Electric Generation Siting and the Environment. 3 CityLand 173 (Dec. 2006).
In March 2008, the Board rejected TransGas’ application because TransGas did not include a place to locate utility lines on its own property, and did not prove that it could obtain property rights from the City to locate certain storage facilities underground.
The next month, TransGas filed an application for a rehearing, arguing that the City’s authority over City streets and City-owned property is subservient to the Board’s authority to locate a power plant within the City per the State Constitution, Municipal Home Rule Law, and the Public Service Law.
TransGas has announced that it will file an appeal should the Board refuse to hold further hearings on the matter.