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The New York Times: Gas Pipeline Has Risks, U.S. Says

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: September 23, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Sept. 22 (AP) — A giant liquefied natural gas terminal proposed for Long Island Sound poses safety and security risks that would require more firefighters, escort boats and other measures to prevent accidents or terrorist attacks, according to a Coast Guard report released Friday.

The Coast Guard issued a security analysis that does not take a position on the proposal by Broadwater Energy, but concludes that additional measures would be needed to “responsibly manage risks to navigation safety and security risks” associated with the project.

Broadwater, a partnership of Shell Oil and the TransCanada Corporation based in Calgary, Alberta, wants to build a terminal about the size of the Queen Mary 2 that would float about 9 miles from Wading River, on Long Island, and 11 miles from New Haven. It would supply one billion cubic feet of natural gas a day, enough to heat four million homes a year.

Environmentalists oppose the application, and some public officials worry that the $700 million terminal would be too dangerous for the busy waterway.

Natural gas is cooled and condensed into a liquid to make transportation easier. Under the Broadwater proposal, the terminal would receive liquid shipments by boat, then pump the gas into an existing pipeline between Long Island and Connecticut.

“The bottom line is this validates everything we’ve been saying: This is very risky, very costly and potentially dangerous,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, based on Long Island.

Elected officials from Connecticut and New York also said the report justified opposition to the project because the security measures would be too costly.

The report recommends that Broadwater share in the costs but does not provide an estimate, saying an emergency response plan must still be developed.

Broadwater officials have said that the project would provide a safe new source of clean energy to ease power shortages on Long Island. They said on Friday that the Coast Guard report confirmed that.

“The Coast Guard has determined that there are no credible threats,” said a company spokesman, John Hritcko. “They’ve also said that the offshore location does reduce the potential consequences.”

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