The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has refused to halt construction now underway at the Dominion Cove Point liquefied natural gas export (LNG) facility in southern Maryland because opponents have offered no "strongly compelling" reasons for a stay, a three-judge panel concluded.

The justices denied an emergency request to stay construction of the Lusby, MD, export facility filed earlier this month by environmental and stakeholder groups (see Daily GPI,June 3).

The groups, led by Earthjustice, claim among other things that residents near the construction site are suffering from the construction work because of noise, dust and heavy traffic. They also claim property values are falling, and they fear for their safety once the facility is operational.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last year concluded that Cove Point posed no significant risks to residents' safety, nor any major environmental impacts (see Daily GPISept. 30, 2014). Last month the Commission denied a request for rehearing (see Daily GPIMay 5). Two days later the U.S. Department of Energy granted final authorization for worldwide LNG exports from the facility (see Daily GPI, May 7).

Construction work began in earnest last November and remains on schedule, according to Dominion. The company expects the facility to be completed in 2017. Dominion is posting community outreach notices, including traffic updates, on its website.