Ninth District Delegation Opposes LNG Terminals Off NJ Coast

Oct 12, 2013

Coastal legislators Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove (all R-9th) have joined a legislative effort in support of federal and state entities taking appropriate action to prevent the construction of the proposed Port Ambrose deepwater liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of New Jersey.

The 9th District delegation has, according to a press release, “signed on to companion resolutions introduced in response to Liberty Natural Gas, LLC submitting an application to the federal government seeking approval for the construction and operation of a deepwater LNG terminal – identified as ‘Port Ambrose.’ … The port would be constructed in federal waters, 19 miles from the coast of Jones Beach, NY, and 24 miles from the coast of Long Branch, NJ, and purportedly would allow for the increased and more cost-effective import and delivery of natural gas to the state of New York.

“As part of our continuing efforts to safeguard the environment, our delegation stands resolutely opposed to the construction of any LNG terminals off of New Jersey’s coastline,” the delegation noted in a joint statement.

In May 2008, Connors and Rumpf wrote to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Energy Regulation Committee in opposition to two proposals to build liquefied natural gas plants off the state’s coastline: Atlantic Sea Island Group’s plan to build a 63-acre artificial island 19 miles off Sea Bright, and Exxon-Mobile Corp.’s plan to construct a floating terminal 20 miles off Manasquan.

Gove was not serving in the Legislature in 2008, but supported Connors and Rumpf’s effort in her capacity as mayor of Long Beach Township.

As the legislators explained in their recent statement, “Our position remains that there are serious environmental concerns as the construction of such facilities could likely expose the ocean floor to toxins and threaten marine wildlife through the potential destruction of their natural habitats.

“This principled stance is consistent with the position expressed by a large segment of our constituency as well as local organizations, such as Viking Village and Save Barnegat Bay, for whom this is an environmental issue of significant interest. The majority of constituents we have spoken directly with on this issue feel strongly that the environmental risks far outweigh any potential economic benefit. Further, we have always maintained that our state benefits far more economically from a healthy ocean and cleaner waterways which are protected from pollutants in light of New Jersey’s world-renowned commercial and recreational fishing industries.”

The delegation intends to continue working with Clean Ocean Action and Alliance for a Living Ocean, “who have taken the lead in the effort to prevent the construction of LNG terminals off of New Jersey’s coastline in serving the best interests of our constituency.”

Presently, SR-120, introduced by Sen. Jennifer Beck, is lodged in the Senate Environment Committee, while AR-205, introduced by Assemblyman Sean Kean, has not yet been committee referenced. —J.K.-H.

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