New plan for gas barge emerges in Broadwater's wake

Nearly a year after the Broadwater floating natural gas terminal failed to materialize, there is a call for a similar project, this time in the Atlantic Ocean.
Environmental groups and Long Island residents are speaking out against the plan, put forth by a group of private investors who call the project ?Safe Harbor.? The investors say the barge would supply clean burning natural gas to the New York area and create thousands of jobs. The 60 acre man-made island would sit about 14 miles south off Long Beach and 19 miles east of the Jersey Shore.
Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg told an audience Wednesday that the project would kill marine life, hurt the environment and industrialize the ocean. Like Broadwater, Denenberg says, Safe Harbor should also be rejected. Gov. David Paterson threw out the plan in April 2008.
A spokesperson for the project, however, told News 12 Long Island that science will prove Safe Harbor to be an environmentally sound proposal.
Some environmentalists say they are keeping an open mind about the idea because of the need for energy independence. They maintain they want to do what's best for Long Beach and Long Island.
?There are potential benefits to this island, and potential negatives to this island,? says Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. ?I think we need to allow science and the process to go forth a little bit.?
There will be a public hearing to address the project Thursday night at the Long Beach Public Library.
To watch Leg. Denenberg's news conference, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.