Save Passamaquoddy Bay

Save Passamaquoddy Bay
3-Nation Alliance

Alliance to Protect the Quoddy Region
from LNG Development

US Flag
Canadian Flag
Passamaquoddy Flag
Scale Baskets for sale
Facebook button

"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
                                           — US Senator Susan Collins, 2012 Jun 21


Letter Opposing
LNG Terminal & Tanker Transit
in Passamaquoddy Bay


Eric Allaby

Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Fundy Isles
Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick


Mayor John Craig

Town of St. Andrews, NB

Webmaster’s Note: The contents of the following letter were received by us via email on 25 August 2005.

Letter to Mayor John Craig:

Thank you for your invitation to join your meeting in St. Andrews on August 22 to express the opposition on the part of the people of Charlotte County to the proposal to site any LNG terminal within Passamaquoddy Bay. I am unable to attend, as I have a prior commitment at a Legislative conference in Ontario on this date.

Let me state at the outset, I oppose siting of any LNG terminal anywhere within Passamaquoddy Bay. This bay is simply not a suitable place for such a facility.

People may ask how I can support the LNG terminal for Saint John, yet oppose the proposals for such a terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay. Let us compare locations, and I think it becomes very obvious why the Saint John site is a good place for LNG, while Passamaquoddy Bay is not.

First of all, the Saint John LNG terminal is to be located at Canaport, which is already an industrial location, being the terminal for bulk oil for Canada’s largest oil refinery. Secondly, there are already large tankers coming to Saint John in a straightforward, well established shipping lane, well away from any coasts, well out in the Bay of Fundy. Canaport is out on a headland, facing the open Bay of Fundy, several miles from the city of Saint John.

Compare that with the proposed sites for Passamaquoddy. Nobody, in any stretch of imagination, could call this beautiful shoreline "industrial". This is a very rural bay that celebrates our special relationship with nature: the sea, the coast, the intertidal shore. It would be a crime against our heritage and our future to change this beautiful coast into an area for heavy industry.

Consider the waterway access to Passamaquoddy. Huge LNG tankers would have to deal with the serpentine Head Harbour Passage, narrow, tortuous and subject to very powerful tidal currents. Although new vessels are equipped with very sophisticated navigational equipment, and the proposal would call for tugs to accompany the tankers, the powerful tidal currents change radically several times each day, and so the opportunity for human error is vastly magnified.

We all know that the right whale species is in danger. And we know that right whales come into the Bay of Fundy during the summer months. Indeed, major shipping into Saint John a few years ago changed the shipping lanes in and out of Saint John, to avoid the summering area for right whales. It is to the credit of the shipping industry in Saint John that they did this, in an effort to try to avoid hurting right whales.

However, if LNG tankers enter the mouth of the Bay of Fundy in the South Channel on the shipping lanes, in order to come into Passamaquoddy Bay, the tankers would have to directly cross the summering area for right whales. While shipping to Saint John has taken steps to avoid right whale collisions, locating LNG in Passamaquoddy would send shipping into a blatant disregard for the endangered right whale, which others are trying to protect. LNG tanker shipping from the South Channel into Passamaquoddy Bay would impose much greater risk for right whales than the shipping lanes into Saint John, lanes that have been moved to protect the whales.

Then there is the matter of the thermal radiation danger zone around the terminal itself, and around the vessels coming and going in and out of Head Harbour Passage. In the event that the natural gas became ignited, either by accident or terrorist attack, there are a lot of people in the area around the Passamaquoddy Bay that would be put at risk of death or serious burns.

Another point that was brought to my attention recently is the extra vulnerability of Deer Island. The west side of Deer Island faces the shore along which one or other of the terminals may be proposed to be built. In the event that an accident occurred that affected Deer Island, the Island would not be equipped to deal with the emergency, nor could help from other communities be brought in. The ferry would prove to be a dangerously restrictive bottleneck in any effort to get emergency vehicles to and from any scene of disaster on Deer Island. Furthermore, located on the west side of the Island, the most vulnerable side, are the school, the fire station and the health clinic. Deer Island is especially vulnerable.

Then there is the matter of the exclusion zone around a tanker carrying LNG. While this zone has not been determined for the proposals for Passamaquoddy Bay, the exclusion zones would be very disruptive to normal water activity in the Bay - fishing, aquaculture and tour boats, along with any ferry service that must cross the tanker track. Definitely the Deer Island - Campobello and Deer Island - Eastport ferries would be affected. And quite possibly the Grand Manan ferry. It would be completely unacceptable to the people of Grand Manan to have their lifeline to the rest of the world disrupted by an exclusion zone surrounding a tanker carrying LNG into Passamaquoddy Bay.

The more we delve into the matter, the more we see that Passamaquoddy Bay is not a suitable location for any terminal for LNG.

Thank you.

Eric Allaby, MLA for Fundy Isles.

Untitled Page

Add our banner to your webpage: Save Passamaquoddy Bay

Read about the effort to Fix FERC: FixFERC

Spam Harvester Protection Network
provided by Unspam