FERC Monday denied the rehearing requests of two New York regulators for late intervention in a proceeding involving Broadwater Energy LLC’s proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and associated pipeline facilities, which the agency approved in March.
Both the New York State Department of State (NYDOS) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) filed requests to intervene in the case in April of this year, more than two years after intervention requests were due at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In a September order, the Commission denied the rehearing requests of several parties, including NYDOS’ and NYSDEC’s requests for late intervention. The latest order denies the New York State agencies’ requests for rehearing of the September order.
NYSDOS is a cooperating agency in the Broadwater case. It sought late intervention about a week after it determined that the Broadwater LNG project was inconsistent with the New York Coastal Management Program. Broadwater Energy, a partnership of Shell Oil and TransCanada Corp., has asked the Department of Commerce to overturn New York regulators’ opposition to the construction of the proposed LNG terminal and pipeline facilities to be located in New York waters of Long Island Sound (see Daily GPI, July 8). The NYSDEC, which issues water permits, has not awarded a water quality certification for the Broadwater project to date.
“We will deny rehearing. The petitioners have raised no arguments that were not fully considered in the Sept. 4 order,” the FERC order said. Specifically, “we affirm our ruling that the NYSDOS’ participation as a cooperating agency in this proceeding prohibits its request for party status…The rationale for this policy is that cooperating agency staff will necessarily engage in off-the-record communications with the Commission staff concerning the merits of issues in the proceeding, so that if the agency is allowed to become an intervenor, it will then have access to information that is not available to other parties.”
Bowing in part to pressure from Connecticut’s governor, attorney general, other state officials and congressional delegation, FERC in late March imposed more than 80 environmental, security and safety conditions in its order approving Broadwater’s controversial LNG and pipeline facilities (see Daily GPI, March 24).
Broadwater Energy filed its application with FERC in February 2006, and immediately it drew widespread calls for federal regulators to reject the LNG terminal project (see Daily GPI, Feb. 1, 2006). The proposed Broadwater offshore terminal, which received an environmental nod in January, would have an average sendout capacity of 1 Bcf/d and peak sendout of 1.25 Bcf/d (see Daily GPI, Jan. 14). Broadwater Energy would operate the facility, while Shell would own the capacity and supply the LNG. The project, which is targeted for service in December 2010, would cost approximately $700 million to build.
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