A five-year battle over offshore industrialization goes on hold.

Liberty Natural Gas has withdrawn its application to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in the waters between New Jersey and New York. The U.S. Maritime Administration removed it from consideration Tuesday.

The proposal would have placed a deepwater port about 15 miles off the coast of Asbury Park. It faced withering opposition by several dozen environmental and grass-roots advocacy groups, and also was spurned by Governor Chris Christie.

It doesn't mean that the issue is officially dead. "It's over now, but they are lurking and may be back," said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.

The move occurs a little over a month since New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa reasserted the Governor's veto to the Maritime Administration, and about a week after COA and other groups sought definitive action from the agency.

In a document dated April 20, Maritime Administrator David Matsuda indicated that any new proposals by the company would require new applications and fees, environmental reviews and scoping period.