Case Number # 2493
Earthjustice and a coalition of local, regional, and national groups are objecting to the environmental impacts posed by the proposed Dominion Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay, saying the project would hurt the Bay’s economy and ecology, increase air pollution, and hasten fracking and drilling in neighboring states.
The groups—Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Potomac Riverkeeper, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper—filed public comments and a motion to intervene in the proceedings late Friday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) calling on the agency to conduct a thorough environmental review, or prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, of the project.
The coalition argues the development of this terminal in Lusby, MD would result in major damage to the Chesapeake Bay, coastal forests, and the local economy, which currently support more than a trillion dollars in economic activity from the seafood and tourism industries.
Major concerns include a substantial increase in ship traffic of huge—and potentially explosive—LNG tankers on the Bay and to Cove Point, as well as the risks posed by dumping billions of gallons of wastewater into this large and complex estuary, made up of a network of rivers, wetlands, and forests.
The project will require construction of an additional compressor station in the Elklick Diabase Flatwoods Conservation site, which is home to rare species of plants, animals and migratory birds. It also will require a huge construction site on the Patuxent River next to the historic Solomons Island, known for its beautiful waterfront.
The proposed terminal will be the only LNG export facility in the east coast, providing foreign markets with access to natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, which lies beneath New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, western Maryland, Shenandoah Valley Virginia, and West Virginia. Demands for natural gas exports will mean more dangerous fracking in these states, as well as more pollution of the communities' air and water and destruction of their land.
Once in full operation, Dominion Cove Point will also emit thousands of tons of dangerous air pollutants and millions of tons of greenhouse gases that will only add to increased climate disruption.