John O'Brien Jun. 27, 2008, 1:35pm
HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - The Coast Guard is wrong in not rejecting a plan for a floating natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday.
The facility would be the first of its kind, but has met resistance from environmentalists, including Blumenthal. Broadwater Energy, the company attempting to earn approval, is a joint venture of Shell Oil and TransCanada Corp.
Capt. Daniel Ronan submitted a letter of recommendation Wednesday. He says Broadwater should implement certain measures urged by the Coast Guard in a 2006 report, according to a report in The Suffolk Times.
Those measures include a backup system in case the terminal is set adrift, adequate tugboat services and lighting to mark the perimeter of the 1,200 foot, $900 million facility.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project, but the State of New York rejected it. Broadwater is appealing that decision to the U.S. Commerce Secretary.
"This (Coast Guard) letter changes nothing - and does nothing to revive or bolster Broadwater's doomed and despicable proposal," Blumenthal said.
"Our state's reasons and New York's for disapproving Broadwater still stand as strong as before.
"The disapproval must still be appealed to the U.S. Department of Commerce. We will still fight it there and everywhere, as vigorously and successfully as ever. The passage of time has made the Coast Guard report irrelevant, but we are determined to defeat Broadwater in the federal agencies and federal courts if necessary."
The Riverhead, N.Y.-based company says the natural gas pipeline is the "best way to deliver a new supply of clean, affordable and reliable natural gas to the region without the onshore and near-shore environmental and safety impacts associated with other alternatives," said Broadwater senior vice president John Hritcko.
Blumenthal has called the project "a catastrophe waiting to happen."
He said the proposal is inconsistent with New York's Long Island Coastal Management Plan because the security zones will ban recreational and commercial designated water dependent uses. Also, he said it will disrupt or destroy important marine resources while violating New York's Quality Review Act.
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