Editor's Note: Public opposition to building the Port Ambrose liquified natural gas port off the south shore of Long Island has been growing for months. On Wednesday, two federal agencies announced they were stopping the clock on the application process to review the outpouring of concern about the project expressed by both concerned citizens and elected officials from both parties. However, Port Ambrose is far from dead and its opponents now say they are looking to use the additional time to rally more people in support of scuttling the proposed port altogether.
For more, see the press release below from Clean Ocean Action, a coalition of 125 active boating, business, community, conservation, diving, environmental, fishing, religious, service, student, surfing, and women's groups that has led the fight against Port Ambrose for years.
Due to massive public opposition, questions regarding fiscal responsibility, air quality conformity issues, and pipeline depth deficiencies, the US Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration (MARAD), in a letter has asked that the “clock be stopped”, thus stalling the process on the Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas facility application.
Public response included over 60,000 comments in opposition including detailed comments prepared by Clean Ocean Action on behalf of 53 broad-based organizations from New York and New Jersey representing environmental, fishing, faith, green-energy, and businesses groups. Notably, as of today, not a single elected official in NJ or NY stood publicly in favor of the project.
Indeed, opposition keeps growing as do calls for Governors Cuomo and Christie to veto the project. In New York, 52 bi-partisan legislators have signed a letter against the proposed plan and urging a veto. In New Jersey, a resolution has been introduced in both the Senate and Assembly, against the Port Ambrose LNG facility, calling for a veto. On April 1 the New York City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection and the Committee on Waterfronts will be holding a hearing on Resolution #549 which calls on Governor Cuomo to veto Port Ambrose.
Federal officials have required that the Governors wait until the final public hearing before issuing their determination on the application. Under the Deepwater Port Act, Governors can veto, veto with conditions, or approve the project. However, the clock must be started followed by the Final Environmental Impact Statement released, and a final hearing held before the Governors can take action.
Clean Ocean Action's Executive Director Cindy Zipf has released the following statement:
“The power of the people, over 60,000 and growing have spoken in strong opposition and overwhelmed the process for the first time," Zipf said. "Port Ambrose LNG facility is treading water for now, but the ship isn’t sunk yet. We need all hands on deck and to keep up the pressure. Resolutions need to be passed, petitions signed urging both Governors to veto this dangerous proposal when the application is final. It is clear we have Liberty Natural Gas on the run, but the fight is not over and we will continue to fight until the ship has officially sunk.”
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