Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Broadwater & the Best Use of the Sound

The New London Day has a backgrounder on the Broadwater LNG terminal proposal, quoting the usual suspects. As I've said before (more than once) the most important question here this: what is Long Island Sound best used for?

The reporter, Judy Benson, does a good job of allowing those she quotes to raise it.

For example, Nick Crismale, president of the Connecticut Lobstermen's Association: “It's the industrialization of Long Island Sound,” he said. “Is that what we want for one of New England's largest natural resources? We need natural gas. We need fuel. But there are other alternatives.”

Ed Monahan, director of Connecticut Sea Grant: “This would be a sea change in the use of the Sound. Most of us still look toward the Sound mainly for its amenity use, its recreational value. This would be industrial use.”

And Barbara Gordon, executive director of the Connecticut Seafood Council: “This is appalling that they think they can put this project in the middle of our Sound."

The story underplays the area of the Sound that would be affected by the terminal. Citing Leah Lopez, of Save the Sound, Judy Benson writes:

One of her chief concerns, she said, is that a one- to two-mile area of the Sound would become off limits to the public. For safety reasons, the Coast Guard would establish a no-passage zone around the barge.

“That part of the Sound would go out of the public realm forever,” Lopez said. “It could set a precedent for future projects.”

Leah's argument, though, is that an area of the Sound with a radius of 1 to 2-1/2 miles would be off limits. At a maximum that's almost 20 square miles of publicly-owned waters converted to private industrial use.


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