Tuesday, June 10, 2008

FERC Hearing on AES Sparrows Point LNG Proposal

AAEA President Norris McDonald presented testimony at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearing at Patapsco High School in Baltimore, Maryland. The hearing was to hear public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at the shore line of the Severstal Steel Plant in Dundalk, Maryland.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) being used for this public meeting is woefully inadequate in addressing the environmental justice issues related to the LNG proposal. FERC failed to, “…assess potential impacts on the...human environment that would result from the implementation of the proposed actions.” The DEIS identified potential environmental justice impacts but did not assess the impacts. The DEIS states that, “AES addressed these concerns through the identification of environmental justice areas in the vicinity of the proposed Project.” There is nothing in the DEIS showing that AES assessed environment justice issues. The outreach by AES via open house meetings, project updates, tours and learning opportunities does not seem to have led to an adequate assessment. We are deeply concerned that the environmental justice issues were not assessed in the DEIS and they should be thoroughly assessed and included in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

There are numerous environmental justice issues that need to be assessed:

1) An additional source of air pollution in the local area.
2) An additional source of water pollution in the local area.
3) Relocation and/or compensation for Turner Station residents.
4) Minority business opportunities related to the proposed project.
5) Arrangements to assist with any increases in insurance premiums.
6) Arrangements for community amenities
7) Examining partnership agreements with area businesses to expand community mitigation and/or relocation.

AAEA made the recommendation below at the 2006 public meeting and we stand by those recommendations today:

1. AES should purchase the homes or pay homeowners and businesses near the exclusion zone a reasonable fee. Another alternative would be building a relocation community.
2. AES should pay for any increase in homeowners and business owners’ insurance premiums near the facility for those choosing the fee.
3. AES should provide 51 percent minority ownership in the Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC, the proposed owner of the 87-mile pipeline. Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC is a regulated project company formed by The AES Corporation to own and operate the Mid-Atlantic Express Pipeline.
4. If the community is not relocated, then AES should build a state-of-the-art recreation and computer facility similar to the Fed Ex Field facility in Landover, Maryland.
5. AES should provide college scholarships to students.

Transcript of the 6/9/08 scoping meeting held in Baltimore, MD at the Patapsco High School Auditorium re AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC's et al Sparrows Point Project under CP07-62 et al.

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