Cove Point LNG draws mixed reviews

Project developer praises 'thorough and independent' federal assessment.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   May 16, 2014 at 9:50 AM

WASHINGTON, May 16 (UPI) -- Environmental advocacy groups said U.S. regulators need to restart their review process for an export license for liquefied natural gas from Cove Point, Md.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued its environmental assessment for the LNG terminal in Maryland.

Dominion Energy wants to ship 770,000 cubic feet of LNG per day to countries that don't have a free-trade agreement with the United States. FERC, in a 241-page filing, said there would be "no significant impact" on the environment provided the company follows the estimated 80 mitigation measures.

Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy, said the review was "thorough and independent." FERC's assessment drew fire from environmental groups concerned about the impacts of the facility.

"FERC has failed the public once again with the release of this flimsy and deeply flawed environmental review," Jorge Aguilar, the southern region director for Food & Water Watch, said in a statement Thursday.

Campaigners from the Sierra Club to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network worry gas from hydraulic fracturing operations in the nearby Marcellus shale play could lead to harmful emissions or other dangers to surrounding communities.

Eric Milito, director of upstream operations for the American Petroleum Institute, said LNG exports from the Maryland facility "could play an important role in securing America's trade advantage as the world's top natural gas producer."

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