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Citizens Urged to Stop “Insanity Island” 1/29/09 LB

Massive Man-Made Industrial Island for LNG Facility Planned off NY/NJ Coast

Groups to Plan Action for Upcoming Public Hearings

Today, representatives from several conservation, environmental, fishing, and surfing organizations called upon citizens to take immediate action against a plan to build a massive industrial complex in the ocean – dubbed by groups, “Insanity Island” – for the importation of LNG (liquefied natural gas). The groups are rallying citizens, businesses, organizations, and elected officials to attend two public meetings regarding the Atlantic Sea Island Group’s project. The US Coast Guard and US Maritime Administration are hosting two public meetings, one on January 27 in Eatontown, NJ, and a second on January 29 in Long Beach, Public Library, 111 West Park Avenue, Long Beach, NY 11561, open house 4:30-6pm, public meeting 6-8pm. to begin scoping for an environmental impact statement (EIS) as part of the official review of the proposal. Written comments can be sent to the two federal agencies for consideration by February 9, 2009.

The proposed man-made island, which is nearly 14 times the size of Giants Stadium, is planned for 19 miles off the coast of Sea Bright, New Jersey, and 13 miles off the coast of Long Beach, New York. The organizations say this same area is home to endangered species, prime fishing grounds, and will destroy underwater habitat, make navigation in the busy port region difficult and more dangerous, and increase safety and security risks.

“The project is an abomination to our ocean and threatens American energy independence, our environment, our wallets, and our way of life,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action (COA).

Some of the threats groups cited include that the island will require 14 million tons of fill – 10 times the volume of the Empire State Building and destroy marine habitat and kill marine life. Regarding LNG, groups said the foreign fossil fuel is “Un-American” because it is from volatile sources like Russia, the Middle East, and Africa. Further, American sources of natural gas are cheaper and plentiful—enough to meet domestic needs for 120 years. Also, LNG is up to 40% dirtier than American natural gas and will increase carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.

“This company has no experience in LNG operations or offshore construction and has been fighting desperately in court to take away New Jersey’s right to weigh-in on this insane project,” said David Byer, COA Water Policy Attorney.

The public meetings are as follows: January 27, 2009, The Sheraton of Eatontown, 6 Industrial Way East, Eatontown, NJ 07724, open house 4:30-6pm, public meeting 6-8pm; and January 29, 2009, Public Library, 111 West Park Avenue, Long Beach, NY 11561, open house 4:30-6pm, public meeting 6-8pm. Written comments can be sent to the two federal agencies for consideration by February 9, 2009.

Nearly 40 New Jersey and New York organizations and six Monmouth County municipalities, including Sea Bright – the town host of today’s press conference, have signed resolutions opposing LNG projects off the coast. In addition, to date, 5,260 citizens have signed petitions against projects, such as “Insanity Island.”

The groups urged citizens to inform others about this threat to the ocean and region, attend the meetings, and send comments to the federal agencies opposing “Insanity Island.” More information about LNG and the proposed LNG projects are posted at www.cleanoceanaction.org.

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