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Monday, October 10, 2005 4:56 PM ET
New York town says FERC ignored pleas for local LNG hearing
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The town of Huntington, N.Y., has joined in the fight against a proposed LNG import facility that would be built in Long Island Sound. The town filed a complaint with FERC on Oct. 7, saying the commission ignored its pleas for a public hearing in the area and stressed uncertainty over the effects of the facility.

Broadwater LNG, a joint venture of Shell US Gas & Power LLC and TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., has proposed building an LNG terminal in Long Island Sound between New York and Connecticut. The joint venture would construct and operate its LNG terminal approximately nine miles from the nearest Long Island shoreline and about 10 miles from the nearest Connecticut shoreline.

If built, the project would deliver an average of about 1 Bcf of natural gas per day to the Iroquois Gas Transmission System, with a peak delivery rate of 1.25 Bcf/d. IGTS would deliver the natural gas from the Broadwater LNG Project to its existing and future customers. Broadwater plans to have the project in operation by 2010.

According to Huntington, no public meeting was scheduled in the town despite it being the location where Iroquois' pipeline comes onshore. "The town remains concerned about certain issues relative to the Iroquois pipeline, even without Broadwater," Huntington said. "It is inexcusable that there would be no public meeting in Huntington. At best, this failure to accommodate the interests of this town, its residents and other interested parties in the western half of Long Island is an oversight.

"At worst, it is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise their interests," the town said.

Huntington's complaint questions the need for the Broadwater project, asking whether conservation or other viable projects might be safer than constructing the import terminal. The town also calls for "an assessment of the existing sources of LNG and the viability of obtaining additional natural gas from them through existing and/or newly constructed pipelines."

According to Huntington, "There is no doubt that placing the Broadwater LNG [Floating Storage and Regasification Unit] in the middle of Long Island Sound along with its attendant refueling tankers will create conflicts with other users of this natural resource." The town said commercial and recreational uses of the Sound will be affected, as well as both onshore residential and commercial stakeholders.

The town also said that, so far, there is not enough data on the potential effects of building a large import facility in Long Island Sound. "There is no information or data on the actual use and operation of a facility such as the proposed Broadwater LNG FSRU in an area like Long Island Sound," Huntington said. "While the number one concern is public safety, concerns about the environmental impacts of such an experiment cannot be overstated.

"Given the lack of information on the catastrophic failure, accidental or intention, of such a facility, combined with the omnipresent notion that what can go wrong will go wrong, one can only speculate on the possible catastrophe that could result in a worst case scenario," the town said.

 

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