Liquid natural gas tanks would be built on an artificial island in the Atlantic Ocean, 19 miles from Sandy Hook, under a plan by New York-based Atlantic Sea Island Group, called the Safe Harbor Energy Project.
The Coast Guard and the Federal Maritime Administration have begun an environmental impact study of the proposal, and held a hearing last week in Eatontown with local officials and residents, who mostly opposed the plan.
Assuming the multibillion-dollar project wins approval, it would take five years to construct the 60-acre artificial island with four tanks. The gas would move off the artificial island via pipeline, and provide a new supply of natural gas for the metropolitan area, the company says.
Glenn Almquist, a consultant for the project, said the region now gets much of its natural gas from pipelines that originate in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes sometimes disrupt the flow of natural gas, and can cause prices to spike. "The New York area is a huge market for natural gas," and the terminal would increase reliability, he said.
Among those opposing the project is Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch). Pallone said in a statement that building an artificial island requires dumping tons of material on the ocean floor, and could harm marine life. And he said the proposal is bad energy policy, since it "would not promote U.S. energy independence, and could hinder investment into renewable] energy and the green jobs of tomorrow."
(C) 2009 NJBIZ. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved