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Open Round Table Discussion

February 1, 2008 @ 12:00 am EST

Members and friends
Our meeting this morning was a round table discussion that was as interesting as any meeting we have had.   We reviewed  the three active LIMBA agenda items, namely;

  •     Repowering Electric Generating Plants
  •     Increased Rail Freight
  •     New Ferry Service to CT
The public conversation on REPOWERING has changed substantially. Instead of discrediting the idea, LIPA is going to study repowering and publish a report on feasibility. The Barrett facility will in all likelihood be repowered. Other facilities such as Northport and Port Jefferson pose different problems, but these plants also could, with proper planning, be repowered according to former LILCO VP, Matt Cordaro. The discussion continued encompassing cost, reduced emission, and fuel flexibility. In that context Broadwater came into the conversation. Dr Cordaro stated that he knew the technology of liquefied natural gas and considered it safe. He then posed the question "If the environmental people want the plants repowered using natural gas, where do we expect to get that gas?
INCREASED RAIL FREIGHT- With less than 2% of our freight coming into Long Island on rail, we are essentially left out of the national system. According to rail freight company, Fred Krebs, we could raise that percentage to 10% and remove 325,000 tractor trailers from our roads each year. This improved service does not rely on the planned 3rd track on the main line, but it does require some work on track and bridge infrastructure amounting to about $60 million. This is not a daunting amount, but our public officials have failed to secure those funds. Another requirement is a rail/truck transload facility such as the one that is planned for Brentwood. There is local opposition to the transload operation, but that can be overcome if an access road can be built to service it. The price tag on that item is $104 million. Costly? Yes, but is it going to get cheaper if we wait? I don’t think so. The politicians need to show some leadership here and get it done.
NEW FERRIES TO CT. The LIMBA proposed ferry route from Shoreham to New Haven has caught the attention of the people on the North Fork. Those people object to the heavy traffic on their narrow, over-trafficked country road leading to the Orient Point Ferry. The traffic that will feed the proposed Shoreham  ferry point will be isolated from residences and business. They have vowed to press for the establishing a new ferry system to relieve what is a legitimate problem. The new ferry system will use new surface effect technology that is not presently being used anywhere but the US Navy. This will be a high speed, high volume, ferry technology that will be at least twice as energy efficient as present equipment. Nobody wants to be inconvenienced and I don’t blame them. The providers of the new service must be able to provide a service that minimizes or eliminates perceived problems, and we believe they have. The ferry proposal is available in the library on the website.


February 1, 2008
12:00 am EST