The leaders of three citizens organizations have called for a face-to-face meeting with FERC Chairman Pat Wood to air their opposition to the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Fall River, MA, and Providence, RI, according to a published report.
In a letter sent last Friday, Joseph Carvalho, chairman of the Coalition for the Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities, and three other leaders charged that it was unfair that Wood has met with Hess LNG Chairman Gordon Shearer, but not with members of the Fall River community, The Herald News of Fall River reported in its Tuesday edition.
Hess LNG, a joint venture of Amerada Hess Corp. and Poten & Partners Inc., proposes to build the Weaver’s Cove LNG import terminal in Fall River, while KeySpan is seeking to construct a similar facility on the Providence River. The Weaver’s Cove project has been the target of significant local opposition.
“We note that you have held a series of private meetings with Gordon Shearer, chief executive office of [Hess LNG], as well as some 80 private meetings with representatives of oil and gas companies with direct interests in LNG,” the newspaper quoted the letter as saying. “You and your fellow commissioners are remote from direct knowledge of or access to the affected areas, and need to have direct exchanges with us.”
In a related development, a Fall River resident said he has become exasperated in his quest to obtain four critical energy infrastructure information (CEII) studies on the Weaver’s Cove LNG project from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He noted that he first requested the studies more than four months ago, on Aug. 17, so that he could adequately respond to FERC’s draft environmental impact statement on the Weaver’s Cove project by the Sept. 20 deadline. He is still waiting for a reply from the agency.
Michael L. Miozza Ph.D., who lives in Fall River and has a safety engineering background, said he has requested four CEII studies from FERC on three separate occasions and has signed two non-disclosure agreements. Specifically, he noted he is seeking studies conducted by Lloyd’s Register, Quest Consultants, Tri-Mont Engineering Co., and an addendum to the Quest study.
The Commission “has strung me along since” last August, Miozza told NGI in a telephone interview. “My feeling is they never intended to release these reports to anybody. And I am not going away. I’m like a pit bull.” He has even elicited the help of Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) to obtain the studies.
The Lloyds Register study contains “probably the most sensitive information” on LNG tankers, and as a result the Commission has been struggling for months on how to respond to Miozza’s request, a source noted.
“We’re still evaluating Mr. Miozza’s CEII application and expect to respond very soon,” said FERC spokesman Bryan Lee. He would not say whether “very soon” meant days, weeks or months. Due to the sensitive nature of the information sought, the full Commission will ultimately decide Miozza’s request, rather than agency staff members.
Weaver’s Cove attorney Bruce F. Kiely has called on FERC to reject Miozza’s bid for the studies on the grounds that he doesn’t have the expertise to understand them and didn’t adequately explain his need for the highly sensitive material, Miozza said.
Miozza, who is a safety director for Taco Inc. in Cranston, RI, which makes heating ventilation and air conditioning equipment, said he has been studying the safety and security aspects of the Weaver’s Cove LNG project for a year and a half. “I am very concerned about this project,” which he opposes. Miozza noted that he lives only a half mile from where the project would be built.
In the end, Miozza said he just wants a response from FERC — even if it’s no. “If the intent is not to release any information to the public then it is incumbent that the government act responsibly and tell the public up front that this information will not be provided,” he told the Commission in his most recent letter (Dec. 26).
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