2007 May 25
by Marie Jones Holmes
Approximately 50 people attended a public informational meeting regarding the permitting process for Quoddy Bay LNG, the Oklahoma-based company that proposes to build a liquefied natural gas facility (LNG) at Split Rock at Pleasant Point and a tank storage area on land purchased by the company in Perry. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requires informational meetings as part of the DEP's licensing process. The public informational meeting is intended to inform the public about an anticipated project and provided an opportunity for the applicant to receive feedback from the public on the project. Quoddy Bay is expected to file its state permit applications soon.
Members of the public were not hesitant to ask questions and to register complaints concerning what they felt was a lack of detailed information concerning the plans submitted by Quoddy Bay LNG to the DEP. Brian Smith, Quoddy Bay LNG project manager, told the audience that much of the detailed information in the submitted report is not for public review. Smith says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) does exclude some information from the public as a safety measure again terrorists.
Paul Martin, a consultant retained by Quoddy Bay, answered questions concerning noise and water quality. Martin said the facility does generate some noise but the project will comply with both FERC and Maine regulations.
The subject of visual impact brought laughter from those in attendance when Smith [sic; quote was actually made by Martin webmaster] said, "At close distance the project's LNG tanks will appear large in relation to the landscape, but a greater distance away the tanks will appear smaller." Smith said the company is looking at various color schemes to minimize visual impacts of the project. In describing the LNG transfer system, Smith said a combination drilling and trenching system would be used to lay pipe for the transfer system from the Split Rock pier to the tank facility in Perry. Smith maintains construction of the pipeline will not affect the use of Route 190.
Madonna Soctomah, a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, said the discussion was dealing with wildlife and fisheries and various species but there wasn't any mention about people.
Under the section on air quality, Smith said there are some air emissions but there will be minor impacts on air quality. "New techniques will bring our emissions down. It is very exciting."
Nancy MacIntosh, a Liberal party candidate for New Brunswick Southwest, said the Canadian government, regardless of political party, will not allow the passage of LNG tankers through Head Harbour Passage. A Campobello resident asked what benefits Canada would gain from the project. Smith replied, "There is nothing in it for Canada."
Many members of the audience questioned why the meeting was not advertised. Notice of the meeting was mainly by word of mouth among Perry residents. Smith appeared uncertain about whether public notice had been given concerning the meeting. During the two-hour meeting, no public support of the project was voiced.
© 2007 The Quoddy Tides
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.