2007 Aug 24
Quoddy Bay LNG submitted a filing on August 16 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in response to a recent data request issued by FERC which was inspired by a letter from recently retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain Stephen Garrity. In Garrity's June letter, he stated the Coast Guard would need "certain information to fully assess the maritime safety, security, and environmental impact in order to complete a Water Suitability Report." That report is critical in the permitting effort for a LNG developer.
According to Quoddy Bay Project Manager Brian Smith, most of the missing information that the Coast Guard and FERC are seeking pertains to how operations will be conducted given the government of Canada's current opposition to LNG tankers transiting Canadian waters to reach U.S. ports. "We recognize the unique situation we are in, and that's why we've spent months finding the most practicable solution," said Smith in a prepared release. "The report we submitted should cover everything FERC and the Coast Guard are looking for, and most importantly, it demonstrates that operations can legally and safely proceed with or without Canadian participation in this process."
Absent from the official data request from FERC was the request from the original USCG letter that indicated the company should seek out and obtain the purported Canadian report that serves as the basis for the government's position.
"We believe that FERC recognizes Quoddy Bay LNG as a private company," stated Smith. "We cannot negotiate with a foreign nation, and such a responsibility should be left in the hands of the State Department and the White House."
Canada first stated over a year ago that a report would be produced to substantiate their position. Despite further promises coming from Ottawa to the State Department earlier this year, no such report has been released, says Smith.
Smith's first hope is that Canada will participate in the process, as that would lead to the best results for all parties. "However, Canada's continued lack of participation will not stop this project from moving forward," said Smith.
Due to the discussion of extensive safety and security protocols in Quoddy Bay's response to the data request, much of it will remain undisclosed for security reasons. However, once the USCG releases a Waterway Suitability Report, many of the recommendations of how operations will be conducted in the waterway will be revealed.
© 2007 The Quoddy Tides
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.