Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Broadwater Answers CAC Questions

Broadwater has posted its response to questions asked that the Long Island Sound Study's Citizens Advisory Committee asked several months ago about the huge liquefied natural gas terminal that Shell-TransCanada wants to put in the middle of the Sound.

Read it for what it is: a public relations brief, written to make it sound as if Shell-TransCanada is concerned about all the things we're concerned about and they'll get to the bottom of them all but in any case don't worry because they're confident that the project will have no affect on the Sound and in fact really isn't that unusual at all. It’s the same baloney that developers always say (on the other hand, much of the opposition rhetoric is the same baloney environmentalists always say).

The questions and responses will go to FERC for use during the environmental impact study scoping process (which is basically the outline for the study).

I didn't find much in it that was illuminating. One assertion: Shell-TransCanada chose a spot in the Sound with limited commercial fishing. Of course the Sound has had limited commercial fishing (as opposed to lobstering) for decades, and the lobster fishery has been wiped out, so I'm not sure what they're talking about.

A quote from Michael Ball, a Block Island Pilot, gives some indication of how busy the Sound is as a route for fuel and, by implication, how culpable we energy-users are in the threat posed by oil tankers and LNG terminals:

”About 500 shipping vessels transit the Sound each year to the East River approaches, as well as ports in Riverhead/Northville, Port Jefferson, LIPA/Northport, New Haven, Bridgeport and New London. Vessels up to 1,000 feet in length with up to 60 foot drafts offload fuel oil at the Riverhead/Northville terminal each month; coal ships up to 800 feet in length with drafts of 45 feet are anchored five miles off Bridgeport twice a month where coal is offloaded from the ships to barges for use in the power plant; tankers up to 700 feet in length and 36 feet of draft call on eight oil terminals in Bridgeport, New Haven and New London. Vessels carrying LNG transitting the Sound would be consistent with the vessels that are already routinely brought into the Sound.”
Read the whole thing at Broadwater's site.

Meanwhile, the Wading River Civic Association reports that LIPA will hire a consultant to the study the economic and environmental impacts of the LNG terminal over 20 to 30 years.


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