LIQUID NATURAL GAS FACILITY IN LONG ISLAND SOUND
Liquefied Natural Gas Facility Poses Major Environmental & Security Threats
LATEST NEWS: We WON!!!!!
After three and a half years of persistently expressing legitimate concerns, Long Island¹s voice was acknowledged! On Thursday, April 10th, Governor David A. Paterson formally announced that Broadwater was found to be inconsistent with the Long Island Sound Coastal Management Program (LISCMP) and thus should NOT be permitted in Long Island Sound.
Under the direction of the Secretary of State, the Department of State administers consistency decisions pursuant to the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. New York Secretary of State Lorraine A. Cortes-Vazquez determined that Broadwater¹s proposal is inconsistent with 6 out of the 13 policies of the Long Island Sound Coastal Management Program. She stated, ³The thorough analysis in today¹s ruling makes clear the importance of protecting the character of Long Island Sound, as it points the way to sensible alternatives for meeting New York¹s long term energy needs.²
Also expressed at yesterday¹s press conference, Governor Paterson unveiled an Executive Order calling for a State Energy Planning Board that will create a comprehensive, appropriate energy strategy that aims to reduce consumption and foster the wider use of alternative, sustainable energy sources such as solar technology.
Broadwater LNG – History of the Fight
The Department of State has received another extension until February 12th to issue their consistency ruling. The DOS is waiting for FERC to issue the Final Environmental Impact Statement in early 2008 before making their determination. The Governor will likely release his decision on whether or not to lease the New York State entrusted bottom lands of the Long Island Sound to Broadwater at the same time the consistency ruling is made public.
Another LNG facility is proposed in the New York metropolitan area! http://www.cleanoceanaction.org/index.php?id=630
Read more about LNG facilities being proposed around the country. http://www.surfrider.org/srui.aspx?uiq=a-z/LNG
The Broadwater Energy Group, a joint venture between Shell Oil Co. and TransCanada Inc wants to build a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) floating storage facility in the middle of the Long Island Sound. The facility is proposed to be located 9 miles off the coast of Wading River. It would be the first floating LNG facility ever in the United States. This mammoth facility will be as large as 3 football fields and rise nearly 9 stories high. LNG would be delivered to the moored barge facility by approximately 2 to 3 LNG carriers per week, temporarily stored, vaporized, and then transported in a new sub-sea natural gas pipeline that would extend along the sea floor approximately 21.7 miles to an offshore connection with the existing Iroquois Gas Transmission System pipeline in Long Island Sound.
- Environmental The facility includes a constant uptake of sea water for heating/cooling purposes. The water will be released back into the Sound chlorinated and at a warmer temperature.
- 21.7 miles of benthic habitat will be disturbed to lay the pipeline to ship the natural gas to NYC.
- What if there is a spill of gas into the Sound? FERC claims that any spill will vaporize quickly. Even so, marine wildlife and habitat could be severely impacted.
- Read a letter prepared by Dr. Stephen Tettlebach, a marine scientist at Long Island University, further describing the likely environmental consequences of this project at http://www.citizenscampaign.org/PDFs/LNG%20Position%20Statement3.pdf
- Safety Could this be any more obvious? Do we really want what amounts to a gas bomb located in the middle of the Sound where it could be attacked from air, land or sea? Even accidental leaks could cause explosions and fire that our local towns and rescue services are not equipped to deal with.
- Public Access The U.S. Coast Guard has determined that a 1.5 square mile no-go zone, where the public will be prohibited from entering, will need to be paroled to protect the facility. In addition, a moving security zone will be kept around the barges as they enter the Race and move through LIS to deliver gas to the facility. This will affect fishing, sailing and boating and take away the public’s right to use a public resource.
- Scenic This huge facility will be visible from shore, interrupting the beautiful view across the Sound that Long Islanders are accustomed to.
The Regulatory Process
The Broadwater proposal is being reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC prepared and accepted a DEIS for this project http://www.ferc.gov/industries/lng/enviro/eis/2006/11-17-06-eis.asp
FERC concluded that the project would not result in a significant adverse impact on the environment although federal and state natural resource agencies, the research community and the general public are all in the opinion that the DEIS did not include a proper analysis of the environmental and safety impacts of the proposal. Public hearings were held across Long Island and Connecticut in January, 2007. Before FERC can make a decision on this proposal the New York State Department of State needs to make a ruling regarding its consistency with the New York State Coastal Zone Management Act. The State recently received an extension until August 17, 1007 to make their ruling because the DEIS is lacking in critical, up-to date information. Meanwhile, in response to voiced criticism, FERC is beefing up the Environmental Impact Statement before the Final EIS is released. DOWNLOAD LETTER TO FERC (.pdf) (.doc)
What is Surfrider doing?
Nearly all the local municipalities, legislative representatives, environmental and citizen groups on Long Island are opposed to the project. Our chapter has joined an Anti-Broadwater Coalition that has formed to fight this proposal. Read more at http://www.citizenscampaign.org/campaigns/broadwater.htm
Our chapter also attended one of the public hearings and submitted comments to FERC asking them not to approve this project and to Governor Spitzer and the NYS Department of State asking them to find this project inconsistent with the Long Island Sound coastal policies in the NYS Coastal Zone Management Act. DOWNLOAD LETTER TO GOVERNOR SPITZER (.pdf) (.doc)
Check www.surfriderli.org frequently for up to the minute info.