Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal Wednesday hailed what they called the final nail in the coffin of the Islander East natural gas pipeline project, announcing that Islander East has withdrawn its appeal to the U.S. Department of Commerce to overturn the state of Connecticut's denial of permits for the project.
The withdrawal comes less than three months after a U.S. Supreme Court decision let stand the state Department of Environmental Protection's denial of a key water quality permit.
"This is a real victory for Connecticut and the quality of Long Island Sound," said Rell. "Running a natural gas pipeline through the waters surrounding the Thimble Islands was an illconceived idea. That proposed route threatened to destroy shellfish beds and other valuable habitat in one of the most sensitive areas of Long Island Sound."
"Islander East is dead -- finally, irretrievably and irrevocably," said Blumenthal. "Our long fight -- from its first days about a decade ago -- has produced final victory. The developers have abandoned their last, long shot appeal to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, consigning this environmental abomination to the ash heap of history."
He called the victory "a model of citizen action, grassroots opposition."
The 45-mile pipeline would have cut a 22-mile swath beneath and across Long Island Sound, laying 24-inch pipe in the bed of the Sound from Juniper Point in Branford to Wading River on the eastern end of Long Island. It would have carried 260 million cubic feet of natural gas a day to Duke Energy and Keyspan Energy customers on Long Island.
Copyright (c) 2009, New Haven Register, Conn.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.