The state of Massachusetts has issued its own draft environmental impact report (DEIR) on the proposed Northeast Gateway LNG deepwater receiving terminal in Massachusetts Bay several months after a combined federal draft environmental impact statement was issued by the U.S. Maritime Administration, the Coast Guard and FERC.(see NGI, May 29).

The Massachusetts report said sponsor Excelerate Energy LLC had made the proper preliminary filings, but in order to compile a final report, the state Office of Environmental affairs would need to see additional information on a number of issues, including project alternatives, potential impacts to commercial fishermen and cumulative impacts.

In particular the state agency questioned the need for two LNG import projects, Northeast Gateway and Neptune LNG, which “proposed to locate similar delivery, regasification and transshipment facilities in the same general area of Massachusetts Bay; the projects proposed to construct separate pipelines, virtually side-by-side to tie into the existing HubLine.”

“I question the development of duplicative infrastructure on public trust lands,” the report by the state environmental secretary stated. Excelerate is ordered to provide a more complete analysis of the issue.

The federal DEIS does not compare or contrast any of the projects currently planned for the Northeast. FERC’s policy has been to let the market decide which projects go ahead.

Northeast Gateway plans a deepwater port in the bay about 13 miles south-southeast of Gloucester, MA, to deliver about 400 MMcf/d of natural gas (see NGI, June 14, 2004). The second project, more recently proposed by Suez LNG subsidiary Neptune LNG LLC would be located 10 miles south of Gloucester and 22 miles northeast of Boston and also would provide up to 400 MMcf/d of delivery capacity (see NGI, Feb. 21, 2005).

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