|English: The Algonquin hotel, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE Room 1A
Washington, DC 20426
Dear Ms. Bose:
Re: Downcast LNG CP07-52-000. CP07-53-000. CP07-53-001
The Council of the Town of Saint Andrews, New Brunswick would like to submit this letter to reiterate our concerns and opposition to the establishment of a Liquefied Natural Gas plant as proposed by Down East LNG at Robbinston, Maine.
Figure 25 of the Marine Transit Route M50, international breech scenario, clearly
indicates that much of the Town of Saint Andrews would be affected, should a natural
gas spill or fire occur. None of our emergency planning has included such a scenario.
The medical, fire and policing services required to properly address the explosion risk is
beyond Town financial capacities.
Since our last submissions to your agency in 2009, significant financial resources have
been made to our tourism and infrastructure. To accommodate our developing cruise
ship initiatives, $900,000 (CAD) was invested in the Town Market Wharf. We had two
large cruise ships and several smaller ships use the wharf in 2012 and expect that this
initiative will be successful in the continuing years. The exclusion zones and transit
schedules proposed by the LNG traffic would affect our cruise ship plans. The Town
wharf also supports a multimillion dollar aquaculture industry. Again exclusion zones
and transit schedules would impact that industry. Our signature hotel, the Algonquin is
nearing a $30,000,000 renovation in a joint venture by Marriott Hotels, New Castle
Properties and the Province of New Brunswick. The hotel is the cornerstone of Saint
Andrews tourism and is establishing a worldwide marketing program through the
Marriott Hotel Autograph designation. The development of the Downcast LNG is seen
as a significant roadblock to the viability of the Algonquin Hotel initiative and the
negative economic impacts of the LNG terminal to the hotel is seen as dramatic.
It is impossible to market a vacation in an identified risk zone. The Huntsman Marine
Science Centre has just completed a $4,000,000 construction of a world class marine
aquarium. It sits exactly opposite the proposed site for the Downcast Project and in the
high risk international breach scenario. The iinpacts to its viability are as significant as
those of the Algonquin Hotel.
[With] all of the current usage of the bay, it is impossible to add the proposed tanker
traffic and carry on with the vital economic activity of this area. No scheduling can solve
this problem; many users have to use the waterway when the conditions are appropriate
for their needs.
The government of New Brunswick and the State of Maine have worked together on the
"Two Nation Vacation" marketing initiatives in the last several years. This collaboration
works to stimulate tourism on both sides of the border. The Downcast LNG facility is
seen as a threat to this tourism strategy.
We wish to bring these new investments to our tourism and infrastructure facilities to
your attention. The Council of the Town of Saint Andrews continues to strongly oppose
the development of an LNG terminal in Robbinston, Maine. The Downeast LNG project
would put the viability of our tourism and commercial economy at risk.
Mayor, Town of Saint Andrews