The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

2008 Jan 11

Quoddy Bay seeks to postpone proposed pre-hearing conference

by Marie Jones Holmes

Quoddy Bay LNG, in a letter dated December 14 to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP), has requested that a proposed pre-hearing conference with the board be held in April of this year instead of this month. In October Quoddy Bay LNG had requested a pre-hearing conference be held in January 2008.

The letter prepared by the law firm Bernstein Shur of Portland, representing Quoddy Bay LNG, states, "Based upon Quoddy Bay's assessment of the current status of its project, it believes that a January pre-hearing conference would be premature and estimates that at this point it can be prepared for a pre-hearing conference in April of 2008." Quoddy Bay's project involves the construction of a liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal at Pleasant Point and a storage facility in Perry.

The reasons given for Quoddy Bay's request for a further extension of time relate to the company's current discussion with suppliers of LNG. The letter states, "Should Quoddy Bay enter into agreements with certain of its proposed suppliers, the terms of the agreement have the potential to alter aspects of the design of this project from what is proposed in the pending application. While these changes may not necessarily be major, they could affect the substance of the application."

According to the letter, Quoddy Bay has also been approached with regard to a potential mitigation project that seems attractive and beneficial but which could have impacts on the project. The letter states, "We wish to explore that and assess it before we proceed before the board. Additionally, Quoddy Bay has received data requests from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and certain commenting agencies, the response to which may also be affected by any such design change. Quoddy Bay will need additional time before its responses to the data requests can be filed with the DEP. At the request of the department, these data requests will in turn have to be filed with the department and reviewed by the department and interested parties prior to the initiation of the pre-hearing process."

Brian Smith, Quoddy Bay LNG project manager, says, "If we sign up with a proposed supplier now, it may be possible to scale back on some of the extraneous things in the plan." Smith believes it is more likely Quoddy Bay will not sign up until after the permitting process is completed.


© 2008 The Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.