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Connors, Rumpf & Gove

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Connors, Rumpf & Gove Oppose Construction of Offshore LNG Terminal

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In response to the proposed construction of the Port Ambrose deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off of New Jersey’s coastline, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have called upon federal regulative authorities to reject the proposal in light of public safety as well as environmental and economic concerns that have been consistently raised.

A map showing the location of the proposed Port Ambrose LNG terminal off the coast of New Jersey. (Liberty Natural Gas)

For entry into the official public record of testimony, the 9th District legislators recently wrote the following letter to ranking officials of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission:

Dear Administrator Jaenichen, Admiral Zukunft and Chairman LaFleur:

For entry into the official public record, our Delegation is formally conveying its opposition to the construction of the proposed Port Ambrose deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.

This principled position is consistent with our outreach to your respective organizations in May of 2008, at which time we called on the federal government to block a proposal by the Atlantic Sea Island Group to build a 63-acre artificial island only 19 miles off of Sea Bright and Exxon-Mobile Corp.’s plans to construct a floating terminal 20 miles off of Manasquan. Once again, we request that full consideration be given to the potential danger to the public in the event of an accident that likely could have serious environmental consequences whereby the ocean floor could be exposed to toxins, threatening marine wildlife, natural habitats and ecosystems. Equally concerning are the potential hazards for New Jersey’s fishing and shipping industries when considering that the terminal would be located near high-traffic shipping lanes, as well as near fishing grounds.

Just as in 2008, we are representing the interests of a large segment of our constituency that is highly protective of New Jersey’s environmentally sensitive coastal waters and the animal habitats that could be threatened by large scale operations such as an LNG terminal. Previous attempts to build LNG terminals off the state’s coast have allowed many of our constituents to become considerably informed on the issue and, accordingly, these individuals have expressed their deeply held concerns with the expectation that their interests will be considered before any final decision is reached. Clean Ocean Action and other watchdog organizations in the state have been proactive in raising public awareness as to the issues associated with LNG terminals.

When weighing the environmental and safety considerations against any potential economic benefit, we collectively believe the proposal to build a LNG terminal in close proximity to an environmentally sensitive coastline and high traffic shipping area poses too many risks and, in the end, does not serve the interests of New Jersey residents. Accordingly, we must strongly urge that the application for the Port Ambrose deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal be denied.

The 9th District legislators are prime sponsors of pending legislative resolutions, SR-21 and AR-17, which urge federal and State entities to take appropriate action to prevent the construction of the proposed Port Ambrose deepwater LNG terminal.

Language in the Resolutions conveys that the port would be sited near fishing grounds and scallop beds within the New Jersey/New York Clean Ocean Zone which has biological characteristics that are dependent upon a clean marine environment.

Further, the port would be situated near the large Ambrose shipping channel, which provides vessel access to the Port of New York and New Jersey – the busiest shipping port on the East Coast.

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Chris Connors

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