Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has urged New York state regulators to reject the proposed Broadwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Long Island Sound, claiming that a recently proposed alternative would be safer and cause less environmental damage while providing more natural gas.
Blumenthal said the alternative LNG facility — BlueOcean Energy LNG off the coast of New Jersey (see Daily GPI, Dec. 12, 2007) — requires the rejection of the Broadwater plan because it is a safer alternative, according to New York law.
The attorney general filed comments with the New York Office of General Services Division of Land Utilization, which is considering a key permit for the Broadwater project. He said the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) mandates consideration of alternatives, including the newly proposed BlueOcean Energy LNG project. SEQRA says the office must reject Broadwater if an alternative is safer with less environmental impact and provides comparable service, Blumenthal maintains.
Blumenthal wrote that Exxon’s BlueOcean Energy LNG — 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey — is such an alternative, promising to provide New York with 20% more natural gas than Broadwater while causing less environmental damage and posing fewer public safety risks.
“BlueOcean Energy is a clear, direct alternative to Broadwater, which is obviously far less dangerous and destructive to the environment than Broadwater,” Blumenthal wrote. “While Broadwater would devastate pristine, untouched areas in Long Island Sound and endanger the lives of countless recreational and commercial sailors, the BlueOcean Energy project would be located 20 miles off the coast, away from crowded areas of the Sound. BlueOcean would also deliver 1.2 Bcf/d of natural gas, 20% more gas than Broadwater, directly to the important New York and New Jersey gas markets.
“Compared with BlueOcean Energy, Broadwater has far greater negative environmental impact. Broadwater would require approximately 30 miles of undersea pipe while BlueOcean would build only 20 miles. Further, the seafloor of Long Island Sound has unique and highly vulnerable natural resources that would be compromised by construction as described in the attorney general’s comments of April 20, 2007.
“Finally, due to the confined environment of the Sound, any accident or terrorist attack involving either the LNG facility or its attendant tankers would pose a vastly greater threat of unacceptable damage than would an accident in open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.”
The proposed Broadwater offshore terminal would include a floating storage and regasification unit with an average sendout capacity of 1 Bcf/d and peak sendout of 1.25 Bcf/d. Broadwater Energy would operate the facility, while Shell would own the capacity and supply the LNG. The project, which is targeted for service in 2010, would cost approximately $700 million to build.
Last year a Connecticut congressman called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its preliminary environmental approval of Broadwater (see Daily GPI, Sept. 25, 2007).
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