New Jersey’s Voice Must Be Heard!

An application has been filed to the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Maritime Administration to build a man-made island nearly the size of six Giants Stadiums, located 13 miles off the coast of New York and 19 miles off the coast of New Jersey, to serve as a deepwater port for liquefied natural gas (LNG). This same area is home to endangered species and is prime fishing grounds. This proposed project is a threat to the improved ocean ecosystem that all have worked so hard to achieve in this region.

Yet, currently the state of New Jersey and its citizens are not officially part of the review process because New Jersey is not considered “an adjacent coastal state” in the application.

Currently, the application lists the state of New York as an adjacent coastal state. New York Governor Elliott Spitzer has been alerted that NY has the right to review and approve the application. In addition, public hearings will be scheduled for NY citizens to voice their concerns. Right now, New Jersey’s voice is not recognized.

Today, Clean Ocean Action submitted a letter to NJ Governor Corzine to request the state to take action to be heard. It is essential that NJ requests and receives “adjacent coastal state status.” We trust that Governor Corzine will take action. New Jersey has until Monday, September 10th to request a role as an adjacent coastal state in the review process.

A large-scale, man-made, offshore island for LNG has never been done. The New York based company, the Atlantic Sea Island Group (ASIG), submitted a 5,000-page application to build the 60.5-acre LNG facility, ironically called, “Safe Harbor Energy.” ASIG admits that management team members have “no prior direct experience with offshore LNG operations” or offshore construction. An environmental consultant has been selected by the US Coast Guard to assist in developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

On August 27th, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Maritime Administration determined the company’s application for the project contains sufficient information to begin processing. The project application is now under federal review. The sole authority to issue a license for the project is the U.S. Maritime Administration. Prior to a license being issued, the Deepwater Ports Act requires that the Secretary of Transportation must consult with “the adjacent coastal state(s) and other federal agencies to ensure such a license is in the national interest.”

The LNG facility is prohibited in the proposed “NY/NJ Clean Ocean Zone Act.”

Threats to the Ocean:

effects on endangered species;
impacts to prime fishing grounds;
during nor’easters, winds blow toward NJ;
average ocean currents flow toward NJ;
potential for “gas bomb” incidents;
millions upon millions of tons of material will be dumped into the ocean and will destroy aquatic habitat to build the island;
marine safety concerns due to facility’s location at the entrance to NY Harbor, one of the busiest harbors in the world, and directly below the flight paths of three major airports.

About the Proposed LNG Facility:

This application seeks to build and operate a 60.5-acre man-made island for a facility, located in 60-70 feet of water, to offload, store, and process LNG. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas in its liquid form. When natural gas is cooled to minus 259 degrees Fahrenheit, it becomes a clear, colorless, odorless liquid.

The proposed project will consist of:

millions of tons of material will be dumped in the ocean for construction of the island, which is to be surrounded by armored breakwaters consisting of prefabricated caissons, armor units and rock;
a sub sea pipeline that would transport the natural gas to an offshore connection with the transcontinental gas pipeline corporation’s pipeline system;

berthing and offloading space for two conventional LNG vessels with capacity of 70,000-270,000 cubic meters, and ability to accommodate support vessels and crew support launches;

four storage tanks, each holding 180,000 cubic meters of LNG;
a shore based facility to facilitate movement of personnel, equipment, supplies, and disposable materials between the port and the shore.
According to the company, the operating life expectancy of the facility is 25 years; what happens after that time is not specified.

To learn more about the project, check out these links:

Federal Register Notice (or paste this address into your browser:
Application materials (or paste this address into your internet browser: (in Docket Search window, type 28535 in the text box to search for the Docket Number and click “search;” click the third item/link in list for Notice of Application)

This project is a threat to the improved ocean ecosystem that all have worked so hard to achieve. The “Clean Ocean Zone” would prohibit
this type of industrial facility.  Stay tuned for more details and plans for action.

Here is the URL for the Deepwater Port License Application:

Deepwater Port License Application

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