Broadwater Withdraws LNG Project

Proposal drew strong criticism.

Broadwater Withdraws LNG Project
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Broadwater Withdraws LNG Project

A controversial plan to build a massive liquefied natural gas plant in the middle of Long Island Sound is over for good. Broadwater Pipeline LLC has asked to withdraw from its federal certificates.

Broadwater, a partnership of Royal Dutch Shell and TransCanda Corporation, wanted to construct a 20-story high floating LNG platform tethered to the bottom of Long Island Sound.

"It was four football fields long. It was going to have an accompanying 27-mile long pipeline."

State Representative Lonnie Reed opposed the idea. She says Broadwater would have disrupted both commercial fishing and recreational boating in the Sound and posed a public safety hazard.

"If there were to be an LNG leak and a blowup and an inability to control a four football field long plant that was on fire, that could start careening around the Sound nobody knew where that was going to end up."

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission initially approved the project, but it drew strong criticism from shoreline residents, environmental activists, and elected officials in Connecticut and New York. After the Governor of New York rejected the proposal, the U.S. Department of Commerce upheld that decision. But Broadwater had not withdrawn its federal applications until now. 

Representative Reed says the region can begin to look forward to future job growth and economic development ideas.

"And it's exciting because Broadwater was really a model of how we can come together and get things done. Instead of saying no, we really want to say yes to some smart things."

Those, she says, could include coastal shipping projects, improving harbors and addressing the lobster die-off in Long Island Sound.  

For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.