Monday, December 31, 2007

Dear Governor Spitzer: Reject Broadwater's Proposal for Long Island Sound (III)

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, has written an open letter to Governor Eliot Spitzer, explaining why Broadwater's proposal to put an LNG terminal in Long Island Sound, should be rejected:

Dear Governor Spitzer,

The Broadwater battle has never been about opposing energy infrastructure but rather it is a battle to protect Long Island Sound. The Broadwater monstrosity will be detrimental to the Sound. First, it will diminish the already-struggling lobster population. As the NYS Department of Conservation just confirmed in their December 21, 2007 letter, the Broadwater project will increase water temperatures resulting in lobster fatalities. The project will need approximately 28.2 million gallons of seawater per day, which will result in an estimated 274 million eggs and larvae being killed annually and in addition an unknown number of young and small adult fish will be lost. Many of these fish deaths will include the commercial and recreational valuable Winter Founder.

As you are aware, the NYS Department of State will soon release an evaluation of Broadwater’s conformity to the federal law, Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). This critical law requires the state to evaluate and assess potential impacts to the water dependent uses and public access of a waterway. If Broadwater were to be approved, it would set a new low standard for applying the CZMA and weaken protection for other waterways. The CZMA was designed and crafted to protect waterways and to allow them to continue to be used for traditional maritime purposes. Broadwater will need a 1.5 square mile security zone and another moving security zone around each and every LNG tanker entering the Sound. This would set a new, dangerous precedent for restricting public access in favor of corporate control of a waterway. The security zone would require a 24 hours per day armed surveillance, establishing the first “militarized zone” in the middle of one of NY’s waterways. This would be a national precedent for an estuary of national significance – one that future generations will regret.

CCE has long argued that alternative LNG technologies and alternative locations need to be fully explored and evaluated. We will not support energy infrastructure that causes severe environmental damage, such as Broadwater. However, we understand the need for energy, and encourage the development of a regional energy plan. This plan should seek to identify the least environmentally damaging energy infrastructure. To date, two other LNG alternatives for the tri-state area have been proposed, the Atlantic Sea Island and the BlueOcean Exxon proposal. In addition, there are other LNG proposals moving forward for the northeast such as the two sub sea pipelines approved off of Massachusetts. Each one of these LNG projects will provide 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day into the northeast market.

We understand that change is inevitable; however, change does not have to come at the cost of losing what it is that we love. The Long Island Sound is a special place and that’s why so many of us have fought long and hard to preserve and protect this water body. To so many, the Long Island Sound is our equivalent of Central Park. If you would deny an LNG facility from being place in the middle of Central Park then we are urging you to join with the 80,000 members of the public who oppose Broadwater. Thank you for your consideration to this important matter. We look forward to the state’s ruling.

Adrienne Esposito
Executive Director
Citizens Campaign for the Environment



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