Monday, July 8, 2013

National Geographic coverage

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

  When a complex issue is addressed in a mainstream publication with inevitable gaps, it's up to us to complete the picture with more information in personal conversations, letters to the editor, and public meetings.
Not the best article in the world, but at least the topic's getting more national coverage. . . The article implies all the costs (roads) are being borne by the miners. The only concern identified is air quality. But, hey, it's somethin'. 

Article about the issues related to shipping gas out of ports Take action!

P.O. Box 103
Fremont Center, NY 12736

June 28, 2013

Ms. Yvette Fields
Director, Office of Deepwater Ports
Maritime Administration
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20590

Mr. Mark Prescott
Chief, Deepwater Ports Standards Division
U.S. Coast Guard
2100 Second St., SW
Washington, D.C. 20593

Re: Docket Number USCG-2013-0363

Dear Ms. Fields and Mr. Prescott:

On Friday, June 14, the Maritime Administration published a notice of application for the abovereferenced
project, a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port called “Port
Ambrose” to be located in coastal waters in the vicinity of Long Beach, New York, and Sandy
Hook, New Jersey. On June 24, the public was informed that the Maritime Administration
intended to schedule only two public scoping hearings on the project, and that the public
comment period would conclude just twenty-two days later, on July 15. This is the minimum
number of hearings, and the minimum amount of time allowed by law, and we think it is
inadequate given the scale of the project, and its potential impacts.
We understand that the project’s sponsor, Liberty LNG, is entitled to have its application handled
in a timely way, but the public also has a right to fully consider the impacts of an LNG port that
could pose a major security threat to a densely populated area, that will certainly produce air and
water pollution, and that will tend to discourage investment in renewable energy supplies. Also,
while the project sponsors persist in describing Port Ambrose as an import terminal that will
receive LNG from Trinidad and Tobago, we recognize that the Deepwater Port Act does not
distinguish between import and export facilities, and there are compelling reasons to believe that,
if built, this facility will actually be used to export domestic shale gas abroad. For that reason, all
the “upstream impacts” associated with the extraction and transmission of shale gas should also
be considered in assessing the potential impacts of this project.
Notice of the two public hearings (on Tuesday, July 9, in Long Beach, N.Y., and on Wednesday,
July 10 in Edison, N.J.) was published in the Federal Register on Monday, June 24, just fifteen
days in advance of the first hearing, which is inadequate notice for such important events.
Moreover, both hearings were scheduled during the week immediately following the Fourth of
July weekend, which is typically one of the most popular vacation weeks of the year. This will
make it difficult or impossible for many interested parties to attend either of these hearings or to
prepare for meaningful public participation. Each hearing is scheduled to last only two hours,
barely enough time for forty people to speak for three minutes each. Given that an LNG port in
coastal waters could negatively impact millions of Americans, a total of four hours of public
comment is clearly inadequate.
Finally, the public is expected to provide detailed scoping comments on the proposed project in
the absence of critical information. In a letter dated June 21, 2013, M. A. Prescott, chief,
Deepwater Ports Standards Division of the U.S. Coast Guard, summarized over one hundred and
fifty data gaps in Liberty LNG’s application affecting such crucial concerns as air and water
quality, noise pollution, biological and cultural resources, navigation issues, multiple use issues,
safety and security issues, LNG export and public-need questions, and failures to adequately
analyze alternatives. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has also raised questions about
the impact the LNG port would have on a proposed offshore wind farm sited in the same location
as the deepwater port, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not yet commented on the
Under these circumstances, it is manifestly unfair to expect either the general public or
concerned individuals with scientific and technical expertise to submit thoughtful and
comprehensive scoping comments on an application that is more than four thousand pages long
by the July 15 deadline. Therefore we respectfully request that the Maritime Authority use its
statutory authority to stop the Deepwater Port Act clock for an extended public comment period
of at least one hundred and twenty days and schedule additional hearings in New Jersey and on
Long Island. We also request that public hearings be held in the shale-bearing regions of New
York State and Pennsylvania, because it is reasonable to assume that these regions may be
impacted by this project.

Bruce Ferguson Cindy Zipf, Executive Director
Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy Clean Ocean Action

[additional signatories]
cc: Ray LaHood, Secretary, Department of Transportation
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
The Honorable Chris Christie
Senator Charles E. Schumer
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Senator Robert Menendez
Senator Jeff Chiesa
Representative Robert E. Andrews
Representative Timothy H. Bishop
Representative Yvette D. Clarke
Representative Chris Collins
Representative Joseph Crowley
Representative Eliot L. Engel
Representative Rodney P. Frelinghuysen
Representative Scott Garrett
Representative Chris Gibson
Representative Michael Grimm
Representative Richard L. Hanna
Representative Brian Higgins
Representative Rush D. Holt, Jr.
Representative Steve Israel
Representative Hakeem Jeffries
Representative Peter T. King
Representative Leonard Lance
Representative Frank LoBiondo
Representative Nita M. Lowey
Representative Dan Maffei
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney
Representative Carolyn McCarthy
Representative Gregory W. Meeks
Representative Grace Meng
Representative Jerrold Nadler
Representative William Owens
Representative Frank Pallone, Jr.
Representative Bill Pascrell
Representative Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Representative Charles B. Rangel
Representative Tom Reed
Representative John Runyon
Representative Jose Serrano
Representative Albio Sires
Representative Louise Slaughter
Representative Chris Smith
Representative Paul Tonko
Representative Nydia Velázquez