27 October 2006
by Edward French
A portion of the pier for the proposed Quoddy Bay LNG project at Split Rock would be in waters within the Eastport city limits, but city officials were not notified of that part of the liquefied natural gas project proposal.
Quoddy Bay Project Manager Brian Smith says the southern berth of the 1,300-foot, two-berth pier would be in front of Carlow Island, which is in Eastport. He argues that it lies in state waters and not within the City of Eastport, but if the city line was brought out into the water it would include a portion of the pier.
Eastport City Manager George Finch says it's not been brought to his attention by Quoddy Bay LNG that part of the pier would be in Eastport. "They should be officially notifying us that they're putting it in the city," says Finch.
He assumes that, if part of the pier is built in waters within the boundaries of Eastport, then Quoddy Bay would pay property taxes on it to the city, unless there is an exemption.
Smith says that, although the berthing design has changed recently, the plans for the pier, which would include a portion off Eastport, have been in place for the past year. He says Quoddy Bay has met with the city manager and harbormaster to keep them informed about the proposal's progress. Smith says it's possible that a portion of the pier could be subject to Eastport property taxes.
Linda Godfrey, coordinator of Save Passamaquoddy Bay, which is opposing the LNG projects, comments, "This behavior by the Quoddy Bay LNG developer goes against the required transparency policy that both the federal and state review processes require. It makes a mockery of the 'Hello, neighbor' that the developer passes off in his newsletters newsletters which also don't show this new intrusion into Eastport city limits. It should trigger all kinds of alarms for the Eastport City Council, the city manager, and all Eastport residents and property owners."
She notes that Quoddy Bay LNG's reports have listed Eastport as a community in what they call "Zones of Concern." Zones of Concern are communities that are impacted by proposed LNG tanker routes and terminal operations. According to Godfrey, the developer's report indicates that Zones of Concern communities would need to be outfitted with safety and security safeguards, such as searchlights, surveillance cameras, public alarm systems, possible aerial surveillance, divers under piers, gun boats, citizen safety shelters and escape routes. School children would be taught "Shelter In Place," an emergency safety program that requires children to do such things as close all doors and windows, tape shut cracks around doors, shut off window fans and air conditioners, and tune radios to emergency broadcasts.
Godfrey comments, "These developers arrogantly disrespect international law, local communities, local citizens, private property and local authority they care only about their Oklahoma investors."
© 2006 The Quoddy Tides
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.