The Coast Guard Says Broadwater Is Unsafe. The Question Is, Can It Be Made Safe?
That’s the only summary I can come up with after reading Newsday’s account of the Coast Guard’s report on Broadwater. The report is to be released to the press and the public today but Newsday got a hold of a copy yesterday following a briefing for elected officials.
Broadwater is a joint venture of Shell and TransCanada, and is proposed for the middle of Long Island Sound, halfway between xx and Wading River. A floating factory, it would serve as a terminal for LNG tankers, would convert the liquefied gas into gaseous gas (how else to put it?), and then send it through underwater pipes (some of which are still to be built) to markets throughout the northeast.
But as proposed, the Coast Guard says, it puts an unacceptable risk on the Sound area. And for it to be made safe, the Coast Guard, as well as state and local law enforcement, security and firefighting operations, would have to participate and presumably expand and improve.
Before the LNG facility is approved, the report said, there should be
“additional measures to responsibly manage risks to navigation safety and security risks ... and reduce the potential consequences" in case of a large release of gas from the terminal or a tanker supplying it.
"The most probable security regime would consist of a mix of federal (including Coast Guard), state, and local law enforcement" that would somehow have to be paid for. It says also that, if the project wins approval, "existing marine firefighting capability in Long Island Sound is inadequate."
That of course raises the question of which state and local agencies would participate. As far as I know, the state police in New York and Connecticut, for example, have virtually no presence in the states’ marine waters. Is the Wading River volunteer fire department going to expand to take on LNG security detail, or the New Haven fire department? The answer to that is obvious.
Can it be made safe via other methods? Shell and TransCanada have too much invested not to try to meet the Coast Guard’s standards, or to meet the Coast Guard part of the way and then try to persuade them that it’s good enough. Presumably we’ll know more details later today and over the next few days.
Newsday, meanwhile, also covered the question of whether Shell is trying to buy influence with its donation to the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, here.