Supporters and opponents of the Port Ambrose offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project set about collating their notes for public hearings in the first week of November.

Sandy Hook Bay/photo by Dianne DeOliveira, TSM News

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the U.S. Coast Guard take comment in New Jersey on November 4 and 5 at the Sheraton Eatontown Hotel. Each session begins with an informal open house between 4:30 and 5:30 PM, and public hearings from 6 until 10 PM.

New York hearings takes place earlier, November 2 and 3, at the Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach, with the same time arrangements.

The 45-day deliberation window starts after the last hearing in Eatontown, and concludes December 21.

Liberty Natural Gas LLC, a portfolio company of Toronto-based West Face Capital, developed the project that, according to information on its web page, would funnel resources from shuttle ships into a 26-mile undersea pipeline for distribution to the existing pipeline grid.

It would be placed in the New York Bight, about 28 miles from Sandy Hook and about 16 miles from Jones Beach.

The placement is abridged from an earlier version that situated it closer to the New Jersey coast than the New York side. Project managers submitted plans for approval in New Jersey. Governor Christie ultimately vetoed the project.

Revised documents were filed in New York. Approval by both governors would allow plan to proceed, but a veto by one would halt it.

The project has drawn the wrath of environmental groups in New Jersey including Clean Ocean Action, Sierra Club, New Jersey Water Watch, Surfrider Foundation and Clean Water Action. Their major concerns revolve around spills and the potential for toxicity in the water, possible threats to marine life, and safety.

Some activists also contend that the terminal can as easily be employed for export as well as for import of LNG.

Shore-based state Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-11) joined them in opposing Port Ambrose during a gathering in Sea Bright earlier this month.