Fight Looms Over Proposed LNG Port Off Long Island

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An artist's rendering of Port Ambrose (courtesy of Liberty Natural Gas)
An artist’s rendering of Port Ambrose (courtesy of Liberty Natural Gas)

Long Island lawmakers and environmental advocates are voicing concerns over a proposed liquefied natural gas port that would be located in the Atlantic Ocean, 19 miles south of the South Shore.

Liberty Natural Gas is seeking approval for “Port Ambrose,” a so-called deep-water port that would re-gasify fuel shipped from the Caribbean before pumping it through a 22-mile underwater pipeline supplying New York City and LI.

“The general public does not know about this,” Nassau County Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) told reporters Monday during a news conference at Jones Beach. “We want more information, more public hearings and more time for public comment.”

He urged Long Islanders to attend the public hearing 6-9 p.m. July 9 at the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach followed by a second hearing the next day at the NJ Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, New Jersey.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed LNG’s previous application for the proposed port. The company resubmitted its proposal at half the size as the original.

“Twenty two days is not enough for the people to voice their concerns,” Claudia Borecky, President of North Merrick Community Association, said. “I’m asking for 122 days.”

Clean Ocean Action, an NJ-based environmental group, said the port would discharge 3.5 million gallons of chemically-treated seawater used for pipe tests, generate significant underwater noise pollution and dredge up more than 20 miles of seafloor.

“The LNG port will adversely impact the economies and ecologies depended upon by millions of Americans and the public deserves the opportunity to give it careful consideration,” said Sean Dixon, the coastal policy attorney for the group. “In an event of another storm it will be a problem waiting to happen.”

The company said on a website dedicated to the proposal that the ship can disconnect from the pipeline in minutes and sail out to sea to avoid major storms.

Rav Freidel of Concerned Citizens of Montauk is concerned that the port may be used to export domestic gas instead of acting as an import terminal for LNG, as originally proposed.  The company also denies this.

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