Energy. Environment. Economy.

Environmentalists seek to halt construction at Cove Point LNG export plant

Dominion's offshore loading platform at Cove Point. Lusby, Maryland. Dominion wants to start exporting LNG from this platform.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY/Newsworks

Dominion's offshore loading platform at Cove Point. Lusby, Maryland. Dominion wants to start exporting LNG from this platform.

Environmental groups have filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to stop the current construction of Dominion’s liquefied natural gas export facility in Cove Point, MD. The groups also want FERC to reverse their recent decision approving the plant. 

Last month FERC approved Dominion Energy’s plan to transform the Cove Point plant from an import terminal to an export facility, which will ship out more than 5 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas each year. Cove Point is the fourth export terminal approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC. It will be the first connected to the Marcellus Shale by pipeline.

Opponents of the plan say the plant will stimulate natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, thereby increasing pollution in shale gas communities. Jocelyn D’Ambrosio is an attorney with Earthjustice.

“In neglecting to prepare a thorough review of the environmental impacts of Dominion’s controversial project, FERC is prioritizing the desires of a powerful company over the health and safety of the people of Calvert County, Marylanders, and communities throughout the Marcellus shale region,” wrote D’Ambrosio in a release. 

D’Ambrosio says the group will file a challenge in federal court if their motions are denied.

But Dominion says there’s nothing new in the Earthjustice motions. Karl Neddenien is a spokesperson for Dominion Cove Point LNG terminal.

“The FERC looked at every single one of these issues in its thorough environmental assessment and final order,” said Neddenien.  ”Everything out there shows the plant will be operated safely and imposes a minimum risk to the environment and the public. It’s time to build.”

Dominion began construction on the plant this week.


  • DeanMarshall

    If they build it, we will come…and we will shut it down!

    • John Lee Pettimore

      Yet, I’ll bet you use electricity daily.

      • DeanMarshall

        And that relates to an LNG Export terminal that will supply gas drilled from my area to Asia for gross profits which will raise the price we all pay for electricity while we are exposed to the pollution and risk? Dominion and Williams Pipeline will invest Billions in this venture. Why not put that money into sustainable energy that creates jobs and Not Global Warming and toxic waste streams for generations?

        • floridanativee

          Do you recommend that we stop all farm exports like corn and wheat? This is all about the myth of global warming,

        • rockjockpa

          So you are recommending that the two companies invest in uneconomic “green” energy projects that have giant environmental footprints and kill endangered birds instead of a profitable venture that will reduce worldwide pollution?

          Fracking and natural gas are good for America, good for consumers and good for the environment. Apparently you
          have bought into the BIG LIES about fracking fomented by Josh Fox and his fellow modern day Luddites. Not to be critical…

          • DeanMarshall

            You Gas-Bags like to put down safer, sustainable energy,but the best you can come up with is some lame and false concerns about bird kills by some wind turbines! Green Energy is Not just Wind, in the first place. It refers to wind power, solar ,geo-thermal, algae based fuels, and many other new technologies as well as the time tested hydro power we have gradually strayed from. As to your claims of bird kills…..that is for the birds! If the toxic chemicals, polluted frack water and massive air pollutants from fracking, processing, transporting and burning any and all fossil fuels continues we can expect hundreds or thousands of species to be endangered or extinct! Get your facts right and good luck!

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