New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey last week petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to settle a boundary dispute with the state of Delaware involving the construction of an off-loading pier that would serve a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal along the Delaware River in Logan Township, NJ.

New Jersey’s action was prompted by Delaware’s recent assertion of regulatory jurisdiction over the proposed construction of a pier to serve BP’s Crown Landing LNG terminal project. The project would be located on the New Jersey shoreline of the Delaware River within the so-called “Twelve-Mile Circle,” where Delaware’s border extends to the low-water mark on the New Jersey shore.

The pier would be used to transfer LNG from tankers in the Delaware River to storage and regasification facilities in New Jersey. The proposed import terminal would have a sendout capability of 1.2 Bcf/d and is targeted for service in 2009.

The governor of Delaware “has rejected our efforts to settle this amicably,” said New Jersey Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “The plain fact is that the state of Delaware does not have jurisdiction over any projects on New Jersey’s shoreline. Delaware has never controlled development on our shore, and will not start doing so now.”

By claiming it has jurisdiction over a portion of New Jersey’s side of the river, Delaware in March denied a permit to Crown Landing LLC for the construction of the proposed pier. It said the proposed LNG off-loading pier that would extend into the Delaware River was prohibited by Delaware’s Coastal Zone laws.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities “strongly supports” the Crown Landing LNG project as a means to increase the supply of natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial consumers, the governor’s office said.

Under a compact signed between the two states in 1905, Cody said Delaware agreed that New Jersey has exclusive riparian jurisdiction over projects on the New Jersey side of the river, including within the Twelve-Mile Circle.

New Jersey has asked the Supreme Court to affirm New Jersey’s exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over development on its side of the Delaware River. Specifically, it called on the court to supplement a 1935 boundary decree to make clear that the 1905 compact gives New Jersey the right to control projects on New Jersey’s side of the river within the Twelve-Mile Circle, free of regulation by Delaware.

New Jersey asked the high court to render a decision in the court’s next term, which concludes at the end of June 2006.

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