Letter of Support for State Pier DEEP Application

RE: Connecticut Port Authority
Application No. 201905859-SDF WQC TW

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106
Attn: Micheal Grywinski

Dear Mr. Grzywinski,
I am writing today on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut to speak in favor of the Connecticut Port Authority’s pending permit application to conduct infrastructure improvements at the State Pier facility in New London, Connecticut. Investing in and improving the State Pier will not only support Connecticut’s manufacturing industry, it will also support our environmental and green energy goals with the emergence of Connecticut’s offshore wind industry. Long overdue and environmentally responsible improvements to the port facility will rejuvenate a strategic asset of the state in an industrialized area of the Thames River and create a path for economic opportunity throughout eastern Connecticut. Redevelopment and construction of a modern, heavy-lift capable facility creates new construction jobs at a critical time, supports long-term, high quality jobs, and increases our state’s access to new industries as the new laydown space enables the state pier to handle new cargoes and embrace opportunities for decades to come.
The State Pier has been one of Connecticut’s most underutilized assets for several generations. This proposal offers an opportunity to maximize one of Southeast Connecticut’s greatest maritime assets. By investing in a hub that can support a rapidly growing renewable energy industry, Connecticut positions itself as a potential manufacturing and assembly hub for offshore wind projects along the eastern seaboard. We would miss a once in a lifetime opportunity if Connecticut allows this long-term economic engine to be situated in another state.
By responsibly filling in the space between the Admiral Shear and Central Vermont Railroad Piers, the State Pier will have an unprecedented amount of laydown space that can be utilized for much larger cargo and more impactful projects than it can currently support. In addition to the heavy-lift capabilities being added, this work would bring a modernized port facility to Southeast Connecticut and completely change the kind of economic opportunities available to our state. I urge DEEP to move forward with the CPA’s permit and allow construction to begin at Connecticut’s most significant maritime asset.
Tony Sheridan
President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut