The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

2007 January 12

LNG intervenor filing deadlines drawing near

by Edward French

The deadlines to file for intervenor status and to file comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for two proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects on Passamaquoddy Bay are quickly approaching. For the Quoddy Bay LNG project at Split Rock, Pleasant Point, the deadline is Tuesday, January 16; for Downeast LNG it is Monday, January 22.

Among those groups and individuals who have filed, as of January 9, to be intervenors in the Quoddy Bay LNG proposal are Downeast LNG, Portland Natural Gas Transmission System, Save Passamaquoddy Bay-U.S. of Eastport, Nulankeyutomenon Nkihtahkomikumon (We Take Care of Our Land) of Pleasant Point, Save Passamaquoddy Bay-Canada of St. Andrews, the Town of Perry, Ronald Rosenfeld of Perry, Donald Cheverie of Lisbon, Conn., and Merrill Morris of Eastport. For Downeast LNG, those seeking intervenor status, as of January 9, are Quoddy Bay LNG, the Atlantic Salmon Federation of St. Andrews and the Huntsman Marine Science Centre of St. Andrews. Intervenors are formal parties in the case and have the right to appeal FERC's decision to the commission or through a U.S. Court of Appeals. Tamara Young-Allen, spokesperson for FERC's Office of Energy Projects, says that projects that may be competing or located near each other usually file to be intervenors in each other's cases.

Those groups filing for intervenor status, through the FERC website at , should file using the new docket numbers for the projects and not the pre-filing docket numbers. For Quoddy Bay LNG, the docket number is CP07-35-000 and for Downeast LNG it is CP07-52-000. Comments were accepted using the pre-filing numbers only through January 5. Intervenor requests using the pre-filing numbers will be addressed by the commission, though, according to Young-Allen.

Those wishing to file comments through the FERC website should go through the process outlined under the e-Filing link, which includes how to become a registered user. Comments may also be mailed, referencing the docket number, to: Magalie R. Salas, secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426.

The next step by FERC will be to file a notice of intent to prepare a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for each project, which will open for further comments before a final EIS is issued. Young-Allen says there is no time frame for preparing the EIS, but a decision should be made on each proposal within 10 to 18 months of the formal filing that was made in December.

DMR withdraws as cooperating agency

Another state agency has withdrawn as a cooperating agency for environmental review by FERC of the Quoddy Bay LNG and Downeast LNG proposals. The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) joins the State Planning Office in not being a cooperating agency. By withdrawing as a cooperating agency, a state department can file to become an intervenor in the proceedings.

In a letter to FERC, Commissioner George Lapointe writes that the DMR "intends to continue to coordinate as appropriate with the commission as its NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] and licensing review of this matter continue."

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has not withdrawn as a cooperating agency, but the agency has written to express concerns about the potential expansion of the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline system to accommodate the Quoddy Bay and Downeast LNG projects. In letters sent to FERC on January 3, Linda Kokemuller of the DEP's Division of Land Resource Regulation, Bureau of Land and Water Quality, writes that the resource reports for both projects "do not contain the level of detail needed by the state to review potential environmental impacts associated with the potential expansion of the Maritimes facilities. For example, they do not address concerns about the proposed Eliot, Westbrook, Richmond, Searsmont, Brewer, Woodchopping Ridge and Baileyville loop lines that the Maine DEP staff expressed to Maritimes and FERC staff during the pre-filing stage" of the present proposed expansion project for the pipeline.


© 2007 The Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.