Suffolk County, Broadwater Still Battling over Proposed LNG Terminal
by Tom Incantalupo Newsday, Melville, N.Y.
March 14, 2007
Suffolk County and Broadwater Energy continue battling behind the scenes over the latter's proposal for a liquid natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound, which the New York county opposes.
The latest shot, fired by the county, is a letter sent yesterday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission objecting to Broadwater's request to file more information to counter its proposal's critics and support its case that the project can be undertaken safely.
On Feb. 26 Broadwater asked the commission, known as FERC, to let it file comments responding to project opponents who had criticized as flawed a "draft environmental impact statement" prepared by FERC that had concluded the terminal could be operated with minimal impact on the Sound.
FERC spokeswoman Tamara Young-Allen said Broadwater's request to file the information was accompanied by the information itself -- more than 100 pages in total. She said the commission will rule on whether to accept the comments.
But lawyers for Suffolk cite a Jan. 23 deadline for comments on the impact statement and contended that, if Broadwater is allowed to comment further, then the record should be open for everyone.
In a comment yesterday on the letter, Broadwater said, "Given the range of comments filed dealing with various issues in the ... [draft impact statement], Broadwater felt that a response was warranted."
An attorney for Suffolk, Charlotte Biblow of Farrell Fritz PC, said the county also is asking FERC to conduct an "evidentiary hearing" on the Broadwater application. "The parties get to bring evidence and witnesses, and they're subject to cross-examination -- like a trial, basically," she said.
The 200-foot wide, 80-foot-tall terminal would accept super-cold liquid natural gas from two to three tankers a week. The fuel would be heated, regasified and piped west on the Sound floor to tie into a gas pipeline between Connecticut and Long Island.
In the letter sent yesterday, lawyers Biblow and John M. Armentano say, "Having chosen to withhold information it contends is supportive of its position until after the issuance of FERC's draft environmental impact statement, after the close of the public hearing, after the time expired to submit written comments to the ... [draft impact statement] and after the intervenors and other opponents submitted their comments ... Broadwater must not be allowed to supplement the record in this fashion."
Copyright (c) 2007, Newsday, Melville, N.Y. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.
Broadwater Energy LLC (TransCanada and Shell)
Long Island Sound, NY United States