Citing risks, Christie halts offshore natural-gas port

    Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday vetoed a plan to build a liquefied natural-gas port 16 miles off the coast of Asbury Park.

    The governor cited his authority under the Deepwater Port Act to block Liberty Natural Gas from building the facility. It would receive large tankers transporting the liquid gas. Christie said the project has too many environmental risks.

    Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action, said she is thrilled with the governor’s veto.

    “The facility itself would have been scouring with chains and construction material scouring the bottom,” said Zipf. “So that very important habitat area known as the mud hole would have had a very harmful effect from all of these tankers and the activity.”

    Liberty Natural Gas President Roger Whelan, who said the technology is safe, said he is hopeful the project can proceed.

    “We’ll need to see if we still have a dialogue with the state of New Jersey that allows us to prove our case or whether, in effect, they want the environmental studies to stop which would seem surprising but it’s not clear at this point,” he said.

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