Company Tries Again To Bring Offshore LNG Port To NJ Coast

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EDISON – A proposed offshore liquefied natural gas port, similar to a project vetoed two years ago, could be coming to the area by 2015.

The federal Maritime Administration is holding a public hearing on the Port Ambrose project in Edison at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center tonight, July 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will be preceded by an open house from  4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The port, which would be constructed 19.5 miles off of Jones Beach on Long Island and 28 miles east of Long Branch, would use two buoys to connect with specially designed ships at sea to extract liquefied natural gas (LNG) and turn it back into gas form so it could be pumped to shore to serve the New York market. It would require the construction of a 19-mile pipeline buried beneath the ocean floor which would connect to an existing pipeline 15 miles east of Sandy Hook.

Environmental activists are adamantly opposed to the project. “A deepwater port in the ocean off the coasts of New Jersey and New York is a threat to the ocean and marine life, to coastal economies, the environment and to the people living along coastal areas. Port Ambrose poses risks to the environment from chemical pollution, noise pollution, and dredging of the seafloor,” said Suzanne Golas, CSJP, WATERSPIRIT director.

“We need to stop this fossil fuelishness. LNG not only adds to greenhouse gas and hurts the environment, it is dangerous,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We do not need a facility like this off our coast. Instead we should be investing in clean, renewable energy like offshore wind and energy efficiency.”

“Residents of the entire region have grave concerns over this proposed LNG port that could easily be converted to facilitate gas exports instead of imports. This likely conversion would increase demand throughout the Northeast for dangerous pipelines and fracking, and disrupt families’ lives for hundreds of miles,” said Emily Wurth, water program director at Food & Water Watch

Liberty Natural Gas says the port would only be used for importing natural gas and would not have the ability or permits to export.

Under federal regulations, New Jersey’s governor would be able to veto the Port Ambrose project if it receives federal approval. In 2011, Gov. Chris Christie stopped a project to build a larger facility that would have been situated 16 miles off of Asbury Park. He cited concerns about the impact of the proposed facility on New Jersey’s commercial fishing and tourism industries when vetoing the project.

Public comments on the proposal (Docket number USCG-2013-0363) will be accepted online until July 23. For more information, visit http://www.regulations.gov


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