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Source: Legislative Gazette

Commerce Dept. kills Broadwater project


Posted: April 14, 2009
Originally Published: April 13, 2009

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today it will uphold New York's objection to the construction and operation of a floating liquefied natural gas terminal and sub sea pipeline.

The project, which was proposed by the energy company Broadwater, would have been constructed in the Long Island Sound, nine miles from the New York cost and 11 miles from Connecticut's. The company is a joint venture of Shell Oil and TransCanada.

The Dept. of Commerce sided with the state which did not sign off on the project, forcing the company to appeal to the federal government.

A prepared statement from the Commerce Department explained the decision to reject the company's appeal. It said, "The Department of Commerce concluded that the project's adverse coastal impacts outweighed its national interest, in part because [of] its location in an undeveloped region of the sound would significantly impair its unique scenic and aesthetic character and would undermine decades of federal, state and local efforts to protect the region.

"The decision was based on the appeal record, which includes information developed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, additional briefs and documents offered by the parties, the views of interested federal agencies, as well as 'a friend of the court' brief filed by the attorney general of Connecticut," the statement said.

Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a group that has been working to keep Broadwater out of the sound, was pleased with the ruling.

The group's Executive Directory, Adrienne Esposito, said during a telephone interview the group is, "exuberant. This is truly a victory for the public over a corporate [interests]. If it were to go forth it would have degraded the Long Island Sound, ruined lobster and fishing grounds, allowed for polluted runoff and discharge to go into the Sound. It would have set a horrifying precedent of giving a public resource over. It's part of our lives on Connecticut and Long Island, that's why the campaign struck a strict cord with so many people."