The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

2007 Jul 27

Proposed pipeline discussed at meeting

by Gail Menzel

Representatives of Quoddy Bay LNG met with the Pembroke Planning Board on July 17 for an "informational session" the company requested. Greg Cunningham, a Portland attorney, and Andrea Barstow, community relations director, spoke for the firm that is seeking state and federal approvals to establish a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Split Rock, Pleasant Point. They addressed the Pembroke board on issues related to a proposed gas pipeline that would traverse through 5.2 miles of the town. Planning board members Al Goodwin and Bill Brown were present, along with selectman Milan Jamieson and several citizens.

The conduit proposed for construction would carry the [regasified LNG] from the storage facility in Perry about 36 miles to the site in Princeton, where it would interconnect with the present Maritimes & Northeast pipeline. The Pembroke portion of the route has been surveyed, and discussions have begun between Quoddy Bay and local landowners whose property would be affected. In exchange for negotiated considerations, an owner would permit easements to be written into their deeds that would cede a right of way to the company through the property. While the company stresses that they would exercise eminent domain "only as a last resort," they acknowledge the option is open if federal approval is achieved and a negotiated agreement with a landowner cannot be reached.

The right of way would extend 50 feet on each side of the pipeline during construction, decreasing to 25 feet on each side on completion. Normally the three-foot diameter pipe is buried three to six feet underground, except when crossing through wetlands or other special topography. Certain restrictions on the land use by the owner, including tree growth on the right of way, would be imposed. Covenants written into deeds would bind any future owners if the property were transferred within the 30-year period the agreements are effective.

Assuming the LNG project is approved to go forward, the pipeline construction would require the company to undertake the permitting process in each town it traverses. Cunningham said Quoddy Bay will deal directly with each town's code enforcement officer, who would communicate with the planning board. "Your review," he said to the board, "is limited to the standards set in your ordinance."

Although discussions began some time ago between affected landowners and the company, no final agreements will be signed unless and until Quoddy Bay achieves final regulatory approval. Cunningham explained that they will seek "contingent permitting" from the planning board, as they are required to do as part of the process they are engaged in with state and federal officials.

The town of Pembroke would be eligible to receive revenue from the pipeline in the form of a personal property tax on the pipeline, Cunningham said. Goodwin, planning board chairman, estimated Pembroke's revenue could be "between $125 and $150 thousand a year."

Maps distributed by the Quoddy Bay LNG representatives show the company will seek easements with the following Pembroke property owners: Edward Messer, Robert Sturk, Calvin Preston, John Murray, Howard and Carol Clark, Edwin Davis, Nancy Marshall, Michael Darling, LKJ Management Ltd., David Brown, Roger Riquier, Allan and Charlotte Ryan, William Quinn Jr., Rosco Ward heirs, Scintilore Explorations, Rosemarie Packard, Keith Barrett, William F. and Mary Quinn, Randy Carter, Shane Curtis, Donald Raye, Sandbox Materials Inc., Karen Sue Ayers, Donald Leiser, and Typhoon LLC, Wagner Forest Management.


© 2007 The Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.