Friday, February 4, 2011

The Liberty LNG Port off NJ Coast Presents Significant Environmental Impacts

The proposed import facility will have several environmental impacts in our region and poses security risks.   COA has reviewed Liberty’s application which underestimates the port’s risks and lacks up to date science on the marine life and resources in the region.  The facility is 16 miles off Asbury Park and consists of 4 snake-like buoy turrets that tankers will connect to and offload natural gas.  The gas will be piped about 44 miles around Sandy Hook through the bay to Perth Amboy, which will continue to pass through a 3 foot wide, 9 mile, pipeline to Linden, NJ

Some of the environmental impacts and risks include the following:

Air Pollution  -  Pipeline installation and offshore facility construction as well as the operation of port will pollute the air with smog-forming chemicals and greenhouse gases.  This facility only transports natural gas - it doesn’t even generate energy for consumer use.

On-land Pipeline Risks -  This large, pressurized pipeline will traverse one of the most densely populated areas in the region and will be installed near people’s homes and businesses.

Seafloor Disturbance -  Pipeline and facility construction will impact 5,678 acres of the seafloor and will kill many creatures including valuable shellfish such as lobsters, crabs, clams, and scallops.

Earthquakes  -  According to scientists, the New York City region is overdue for a magnitude 5 or greater earthquake, which could potentially damage or disrupt the pipeline. (Click here.)

High Volumes of Sea Water Use -  Millions of gallons of seawater will be used for pipeline testing and billions will be removed for ballast water every year – which tankers require to offset the weight of the natural gas they offload.   This extensive water use will destroy algae, tiny sealife, and fish eggs and larvae that are critical to marine food web and fisheries.

Noise Pollution -  The construction and operation of the facility will introduce more noise into an already noisy environment.  Noise pollution can harm marine life and interferes with vital communication of fish and marine mammals.  

Ship Collisions  -  The facility creates the risk of existing ship traffic hitting tankers at the port which could result in fuel and cargo spills.  In addition, the LNG tankers will increase the number of vessel strikes that injure and kill sea turtles, seals, and whales.

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