Brooklyn residents take legal action against National Grid over pipeline
A group of people living in the Brownsville area claims that they were never consulted by National Grid regarding a pipeline project – something they think could bring serious safety risks.
These residents have protested the construction of the pipeline for months over concerns about the environmental and public health dangers. On Monday, they gathered in Brownsville, claiming that National Grid misled the community.
The residents have filed a Title VI claim asking the federal government to examine the project. The New York Law School Civil Rights and Disability Justice Clinic and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice say there is documentation that public hearing, health and safety requirements were ignored, discriminating against Black and LatinX communities.
“They tore up the roadways, they shut down the streets, and they didn't tell residents what they were doing, even residents that came and asked them,” says senior attorney Anjana Malhotra, of NCLEJ.
Community members say they decided to take action when they learned that gas was actually pumping through their community at the moment.
“The gas is flowing through the first four phases of the pipeline— we didn't find that out until recently,” says Britney Wilson, of New York Law School.
National Grid told News 12 in a statement, "All work on the Metropolitan Reliability Project (MRI) was conducted with the required permits and approvals in place, and was fully compliant with all laws, rules and regulations. MRI was designed to help efficiently operate a distribution system that is vital to meeting the critical energy needs of our 1.9 million customers downstate safely and reliably."
Residents say they are hoping the federal government will listen to their concerns and turn off the gas.