EPA asks for more time to review Cove Point LNG terminal

  • Marie Cusick

dominion_onshore021-620x413The Philadelphia office of the federal Environmental Protection Agency has requested an additional a 30 days to review the environmental impacts of a proposed export terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Lusby, Maryland.
Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concluded that the Cove Point LNG terminal will “not result in significant cumulative impacts” to the environment.
The facility, operated by Dominion Resources, was given conditional approval by the U.S. Department of Energy last September. It would be the closest gas export terminal to the Marcellus Shale.
Public comments on FERC’s environmental assessment are due Monday June 16th.
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“EPA requests that this additional time be granted due to the nature and complexity of this project,” EPA Region 3 Environmental Assessment & Innovation Division Director John Pomponio wrote to FERC in a letter released yesterday. “The additional time will allow the agency to compile comments from its regional associate internal reviewers (our standard practices) and the required need for EPA headquarters’ review.”
Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle said the agency has already had “ample opportunity” for comment.
“The FERC’s review of the project — and public comment on it — began almost two years ago, in June 2012,” he wrote in an email. “The environmental assessment does not raise any new material issues that require an extension of the time for comments.”