The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

2011 February 11

Robbinston experiences minor earthquake

An earthquake of low magnitude, 2.0 on the Richter scale, occurred at Mill Cove in Robbinston at 3:06 a.m. on January 31. Cathy Footer, the Robbinston town clerk, was awake at the time of the quake and says she did not feel any movement but did hear a noise she first attributed to the furnace or a truck passing by. She has not heard any comments from other members of the community concerning the early morning quake.

The Robbinston quake occurred on the Oak Bay Fault at a depth of 4.5 miles and was located about 10 miles from Calais. The Oak Bay Fault follows the international boundary and the St. Croix River.

About 50 earthquakes have been reported in the Passamaquoddy Bay area since 1870. Movement along a fault releases energy in the form of seismic vibrations or waves. The focus of an earthquake is the point within the earth where the energy is released. The epicenter of an earthquake is the point on the earth's surface directly over the focus.

The quake occurred in the Mill Cove area that is also the proposed site of the Downeast LNG project. Dean Girdis, president and founder of Downeast LNG, says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requires a detailed seismic analysis as part of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Girdis says, "The whole fault line is fine for an LNG project." Downeast LNG has been required to submit models of the fault area to FERC. "Everything came out fine," comments Girdis. Other agencies have required additional models.

In May 2009 FERC issued a draft EIS for the Downeast LNG project, but the issuance of a final EIS has been delayed. According to Girdis, Downeast LNG expects to refile its state permit applications after a final EIS has been issued.


© 2010 The Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.