PALLONE URGES FEDERAL OFFICIALS TO GRANT GOVERNOR'S REQUEST FOR ADJACENT COASTAL STATUS
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today sent a letter to Admiral Thad Allen, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, and Sean Connaughton, U.S. Maritime Administrator, urging them to grant Governor Jon Corzine's request that New Jersey be named an adjacent coastal state to the proposed deepwater Liquid Natural Gas port, under the consistency provisions of the Deepwater Port Act. (A COPY OF THE LETTER FOLLOWS)
Admiral Thad W. Allen
U.S. Coast Guard
2100 Second St. SW
Washington, DC 20593
Sean T. Connaughton
U.S. Maritime Administrator
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE (MAR-530)
Second Floor, West Wing
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Admiral Allen and Administrator Connaughton:
On Monday, August 27, 2007, the Federal Register published an application, submitted by Atlantic Sea Island Group, LLC, to build and operate a deepwater Liquid Natural Gas port in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New York and New Jersey. The proposed industrial island would create a territory for a liquefied natural gas facility, named "Safe Harbor Energy".
The notice in the Federal Register indicates that that due to the island's proximity to New York, that state has been designated as an adjacent coastal state under the Deepwater Port Act. With adjacent coastal state status, New York will have right of review in addition to public hearings for citizens to voice their concerns. The notice did not designate New Jersey as an adjacent coastal state.
It has come to my attention that New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine has requested that New Jersey be granted adjacent coastal state status under the consistency provisions of the Deepwater Port Act. I believe it is imperative that New Jersey be granted adjacent coastal state status, due to the detrimental effects this facility could have on New Jersey's coastal environment.
Under the Deepwater Port Act, a state could be designated as an adjacent coastal state if there is a risk of damage to the coastal environment of such state, equal to or greater than the risk posed to a state directly connected to the pipeline of the deepwater port. New York and New Jersey share equal risk to their coastal environments.
The construction of the facility would mean millions of tons of material would have to be dumped into the ocean. The building, staging and maintenance of this deepwater port facility would be a tremendous environmental burden to New Jersey. Therefore, New Jersey should be granted adjacent state status under the Deepwater Port Act.
The proposed facility would also devastate a premier fishing ground and endangered species habitat. Specifically, an area known as Cholera Bank, which is protected under New Jersey's federally approved coastal management program, will be destroyed. The proposed facility will not only impede this historic fishing area, but it will severely undercut the environmental integrity of the coastal region.
I encourage the Coast Guard and U.S. Maritime Administration to grant New Jersey adjacent state status under the consistency provisions of the Deepwater Port Act, as requested by New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine. The people of New Jersey must have a voice in the review process.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to continuing our work together.
FRANK PALLONE, JR.
Member of Congress