2006 February 7
By KATHY BOCKUS
ST. ANDREWS A date has been set for the long-awaited meeting between the developers of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility and the residents of Charlotte County.
During a telephone interview yesterday, Dean Girdis, president of Downeast LNG, said he plans to hold a public meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Fairmont Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews to provide information on his company's project and to answer any questions the public might have.
Girdis stressed that the meeting was "completely public," saying it was "useless" to hold private meetings with groups or individuals.
"What is the value of that?" he questioned.
"You need to be out there talking to people, giving them the chance to fire questions at you. I'm sure it will be a nice friendly meeting, everyone holding hands," he joked.
St. Andrews Mayor John Craig has not been shy about publicly voicing a strong protest against the LNG projects so close across the water to the town.
He has said the St. Andrews people know will cease to exist if the projects go ahead, adding that the projects will change the life of the bay and its people forever.
Other opponents have voiced their disapproval of the project for environmental and ecological reasons, including NB Southwest MP Greg Thompson, newly named as the federal government's Minister of Veterans' Affairs.
Girdis said 1,800 newsletters to residents would be delivered in preparation for the Feb. 15 meeting.
"We're mailing a three-page packet to everyone in St. Andrews," said Girdis, adding that the packet will contain information on his $400 million project planned for Mill Cove, near Robbinston, Me., which is directly across the Passamaquoddy Bay from St. Andrews, a distance of about three kilometres.
The proposed project by Downeast LNG involves the construction of one, possibly two, storage tanks as well as a pier stretching between 3,000 feet and 4,500 feet out into the Passamaquoddy Bay, where the 1,000-foot-long tankers will dock to unload after traveling through Head Harbour Passage.
Another LNG storage facility, this one containing three cement tanks capable of holding nine billion cubic feet of natural gas, operated by Quoddy Bay LLC, has also been proposed for the same general area near Robbinston.
Company spokesmen have stated that this facility will also be visible from St. Andrews.
Girdis stressed that he never refused to attend the large public meeting held at the arena in St. Andrews last year, which attracted 1,000 opponents of the projects.
Saying he told the town he had a scheduling conflict from the start, Girdis then stated the meeting turned into an opposition "rally" instead of a meeting to provide information on the LNG projects.
The other company representatives first agreed to attend, then refused, citing "security" concerns.
© 2006 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.
The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB