Strong opposition by Conn. Gov. M. Jodi Rell to a proposed natural gas terminal on Long Island Sound kicked off a hearing Tuesday night as the public had its first chance
to comment on a draft report by federal energy regulators, the AP reported
State Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Gina McCarthy delivered Rell's statement, criticizing the proposed security zone around the floating barge as the taking of property by a private company with federal approval.
Nearly 200 people attended the hearing at Mitchell College. Their focus was the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's draft report that found the project will have minimal impact on the environment and public safety if certain guidelines for construction are followed.
The AP said many opponents worried that Connecticut has been stripped of its jurisdiction and that Long Island Sound would be industrialized.
Broadwater Energy, a consortium of Shell Oil and TransCanada Corp., wants to build the floating liquefied natural gas barge in
New York waters about 10 miles south of New Haven and nine miles off Wading River, Long Island.
Rell compared the terminal - projected to be 1,200 long and 82-feet high - to a building factory.
The terminal would supply 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day, according to reports. Under the Broadwater proposal, the terminal would receive LNG shipments by boat, then pump the gas into the existing pipeline between Long Island and Connecticut.
John Hritcko, Broadwater's senior vice president, said about half of the gas would go to New York City, 25-30 percent is targeted for Long Island and rest would go in Connecticut.
A report issued by the U.S. Coast Guard in September said the terminal poses safety and security risks that would require more firefighters, escort boats and other measures to prevent accidents or terrorist attacks.