Thursday, September 04, 2008

Broadwater rehearing denied by feds

By Denise Civiletti

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday denied requests by New York, Connecticut, Suffolk County and the towns of Riverhead, Southold, Brookhaven, East Hampton and Huntington to reconsider its approval of Broadwater Energy's permits to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound, nine miles off the coast of Wading River in the Town of Riverhead.

FERC on March 20 issued conditional approvals to Broadwater Energy, a joint venture of Shell Oil and TransCanada Pipelines, to site, construct, and operate a 1,215-foot-long LNG import terminal in Long Island Sound. The commission also issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity to Broadwater Pipeline LLC, an affiliate of Broadwater Energy, to construct, own, and operate a 21.7-mile-long pipeline subsea lateral from the LNG terminal to he Iroquois gas transmission system pipeline in Kings Park.

Both approvals were conditioned on a determination by the N.Y. secretary of state that the terminal would be consistent with New York's coastal management policies. Gov. David Paterson announced on April 10 that the N.Y. secretary of state had found Broadwater's proposed terminal inconsistent with state coastal policies.

The states of New York and Connecticut, as well as Suffolk County and four municipalities, subsequently asked FERC to reconsider its permit approvals after the New York secretary of commerce ruled on April 10 that the off-shore LNG storage and regasification terminal was inconsistent with New York's coastal management policy.

On Thursday, FERC said no.

What legal action the states, county and towns may pursue following FERC's denial was not immediately apparent.

Meanwhile, Broadwater Energy has appealed the N.Y. Department of State's consistency determination to the U.S. secretary of commerce, who has the authority to override the state's consistency ruling upon finding that the terminal is in the interest of national security. That appeal is pending before the U.S. commerce secretary. A ruling on that appeal is expected in early 2009, according to Ted Beuttler, a staff attorney in the commerce department's office of general counsel for ocean services.

Copyright 2008 Times/Review Newspapers Corp.

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