Plug pulled on gas terminal off Long Beach

June 24, 2010 by JAMES BERNSTEIN /

Design for Atlantic Sea Island

It was to be built on an island in the Atlantic, about 13.5 miles south of Long Beach and 19 miles east of the New Jersey shore. The liquefied natural gas terminal was to handle an average of 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas a day.

But it does not appear the terminal will be producing any gas at all. The company behind the proposed project, Manhattan-based Atlantic Sea Island Group, has quietly pulled the plug, following the retirement of chief executive Howard Bovers, according to an energy source. Bovers was the driving force behind the project, which had sparked intense opposition from lawmakers on Long Island.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in April used the occasion of Earth Day to oppose the terminal. The lawmakers said the project would have been harmful to the environment and present national security risks.

Atlantic Sea had spent millions doing research to create an island off Long Beach and had submitted exhaustive documents for review by federal and state officials. Atlantic Sea has backed away in light of the opposition, the source said.

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said Thursday she did not believe the project would have received state approval.

“It was pretty clear to me the project would have had tremendous hurdles to get through,” Esposito said. “I don’t think it had great legs to begin with.”

While Gov. David A. Paterson had not issued a decision on the project, aides noted he had cited environmental grounds to oppose the Broadwater Energy liquefied natural gas terminal that would’ve been built in Long Island Sound, 9.2 miles north of Wading River.