Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chillum LNG Storage Facility Issue Alive Again

File Photo Courtesy FERC (Not Chillum facility-Actual lot vacant)
Chillum, a small minority community near Washington, D.C., is fighting a 13 million gallon liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tank being proposed by Washington Gas, which owns the 21-acre site on Chillum Road near Queens Chapel Road. The neighborhood is very close to the West Hyattsville Metro station and the LNG tank would be closer to the station than the community. Maryland State Delegate Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George's) has introduced legislation that would prevent state utility regulators from granting construction approval for LNG facilities in Prince George's County and within two miles of any residence in the county. If passed this bill would stop the utility from building on the Chillum location. The House Economic Matters Committee heard testimony from community activists and utility officials on March 10.

Although AAEA does not have a position on the facility, we have discussed the project with Imani Kazana, a founding member of the neighborhood's Washington Gas Watch Alliance, Washington Gas representatives, and AAEA has presented testimony to the county council on the project. The utility stored natural gas -- but not LNG -- there for about 60 years before terminating operations several years ago. The Chillum facility already has some pipelines and according to Washington Gas, building a storage tank in another spot would require installing about 25 miles of pipes and cost $687 million. The Chillum tank is estimated to cost $164 million. (The Washington Post)

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