Friday, June 27, 2008

About Broadwater

The Connecticut Fund for the Environment issued the following statement this week:

SAVE THE SOUND STATEMENT ON COAST GUARD DECISION

Findings Indicate Long Island Sound Unsuitable for Broadwater Project

New Haven – Save the Sound, a regional program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment today responded to late news that the Coast Guard had issued a letter of recommendation outlining more than a dozen factors needing remedy if Shell Oil was going to go forward with Broadwater, the floating liquefied natural gas facility project sited for the middle of Long Island Sound.

“The Coast Guard recommendations highlight clearly what we have been saying, the Long Island Sound is not the right place for this project,” said Leah Schmalz, Director of Legislative and Legal Affairs for Save the Sound. “It is absurd how many ways Shell is trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. The New York Department of State recognizes that, the Administrations of both Connecticut and New York recognize that, and most importantly, the citizens recognize that.”

Among the points needing to be addressed by Broadwater: the lack of an emergency response plan, including vessel collision, a method by which to tether the facility to prevent drift (particularly in inclement weather), and a plan to handle any crisis that might arise on the platform.

Beyond the factors outlined by the Coast Guard, the letter calls attention to the decision by New York ’s Department of State which rejected the project on the basis that it violated New York ’s coastal consistency plan. It also remarks on the sheer size of the area that would be removed from public use and given to a private for-profit corporation. Lastly, the recommendation indicates that overturning these existing barriers is not within USCG control.

“This would be a terrible precedent, removing a public waterway from public use for private gain. Long Islanders need real solutions to their energy problems and deserve a plan of action to meet their needs. We must develop a regional plan to address these issues, not continue to waste time on pseudo-solutions that will take years to implement and threaten the economies of both states, a huge recreational area, and the safety of boaters and fishermen in the Sound,” said Schmalz.

Broadwater has filed an appeal on the New York Department of State denial with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

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