"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
2014 June 6
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Save Passamaquoddy Bay Organization Indicts FERC Environmental Process
Eastport, Maine — On Thursday, Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance submitted an exposé and indictment of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) environmental permitting process.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay, a grassroots organization based in Eastport, Maine, has been fighting LNG development in Passamaquoddy Bay for 10 years. Downeast LNG is proposing an LNG import terminal at Robbinston, Maine, and FERC issued its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposal on May 15. The EIS is the last step prior to FERC issuing or denying permits to the project.
Permitting LNG terminals considers impacts on human, as well as the natural, environment. In FERC's entire history, it has never denied an LNG terminal permit for environmental impacts. "It seems unreasonable and utterly unbelievable that every single US LNG terminal project reaching a FERC permitting decision has selected a perfect site, and has had no significant environmental impacts," said Save Passamaquoddy Bay researcher Robert Godfrey. "It gives cause to wonder how it can be that FERC always gives a pass to LNG terminal applications. It just doesn't seem possible, and raises questions of credibility."
"An answer to how this has happened is demonstrated in FERC's Downeast LNG EIS," Godfrey said. "The EIS contains numerous prevarications, omissions of significant environmental impacts, and unequal treatment of parties to the proceedings. Official intervenors to the proceedings received no responses from FERC for five years to requests and comments, while the applicant — and even politicians and bureaucrats who are not official parties to the proceedings — received timely responses. FERC staff and its contractor have improperly 'gilded the project,' prejudicing the document that will be used by FERC Commissioner in their permitting decision," Godfrey said. "With such back-room, one-sided, industry-supported treatment, it is no wonder FERC never denies an applicant."
"Congress urgently needs to enact changes to make the FERC EIS process fair and in the public interest," Godfrey said. "Save Passamaquoddy Bay is petitioning federal lawmakers to redesign the FERC permitting process to make it transparent, just, and timely for all affected parties, the public included" he concluded.
The complete Exposé and Indictment can be downloaded at <http://www.savepassamaquoddybay.org/downloads/>.