Thursday, July 19, 2007

Broadwater is Failing to Give Us All the Info We Need

Here's Save the Sound/Connecticut Fund for the Environment's take on the New York State Department of State letter to FERC about Broadwater:

New York Department of State disputes Broadwater assessment.
Broadwater Fails ‘Information 101’ Again.
In a letter addressed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) made public this week, the New York Department of State (DOS) points out numerous flaws in Broadwater Energy’s application process and illustrates how Broadwater’s assumptions have failed to provide full information on alternatives and due consideration for the project’s impact on the interests of the region’s citizens.
The letter points chiefly to three things. 1) Broadwater has so far glossed over potential Atlantic Ocean alternative siting options for its proposed liquefied natural gas storage facility; 2) When reviewing siting alternatives, Broadwater and FERC have not sufficiently considered the impact of the safety exclusion zones, which prohibit public use of public land and water around the LNG delivery tankers (4-6 a week) and the facility itself; and 3) FERC should not “rely exclusively on information provided by Broadwater in its filing to assess environmental impacts associated with shore crossings.”
Save the Sound’s comments can be found below.
“The DOS letter points to issues Save the Sound has raised from the beginning” said Leah Schmalz, “a public light is being shown on Broadwater’s ill advised scheme which side-steps alternative options for siting their LNG complex in the Atlantic Ocean with less destructive technology.”
“The DOS rightly demands that FERC consider the types, sizes, and impacts of the facility’s exclusion zones, like those surrounding the platform and the LNG supply tankers, on the public’s use as part of the ‘foot-print’ of the facility,” Schmalz said, “Broadwater has no problem seizing the public’s water and land for their exclusive use, they shouldn’t be allowed to ignore or whitewash the consequences.”
“The New York Department of State accurately points out to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission what citizens have been demanding for nearly two years – that FERC do its own careful analysis, and not merely reiterate Broadwater Energy’s party line,” Schmalz said.

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Blogger Sam said...

I'm not familiar with the EIS, but one requirement would be to fully consider alternatives including "no action" - was an offshore Atlantic site adequately discussed?

To me, offshoring is viable and is done quite routinely such as for crude oil facilities. Problems with ship routing and impacts from water filtration and bleaching would be much more minimized. Plus, approximately 8 hours of ship driving time would be saved; to make the route around Block Island and Long Island sounds would be eliminated. The requirement for having escort ships along such a long inland route would be eliminated. About the only time an offshore facility would be closed was when the Mooring Master (the dude who docks the ship) declared unsafe sea conditions, such as a severe Northeaster or hurricane. Of course, such restrictions would probably apply inside the Sound as well ...

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

I hope someone in the know will explain how the issue of "alternatives" fits into Broadwater's consistency determination (I'm presuming that NYSDOS' concerns are related to coastal consistency). Does "alternative" mean that it's another way to accomplish the project and still be consistent with coastal policies? Are "alternatives" that completely remove the project from the coastal area for which a consistency determination is sought acceptable? Is there a snowball's chance in H_ll that the Secretary of Commerce won't overturn a state ruling that is based in part on the viability of an alternative not in LIS?

I'll go back to the question I posed a few weeks ago: Why hasn't NYS changed its coastal policies to more explicitly remove the possibility of an LNG terminal in LIS? They've had two years to do it.

5:19 PM  

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