Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bay of Fundy and the Economics of Fog

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 Barely visible through the fog, Head Harbour Lightstation stands guard at the entrance to Head Harbour Passage.

If three american LNG developers have their way, gigantic LNG tankers would have to reach Passamaquoddy Bay via Canada's Head Harbour Passage. To do this safely they will need to transit during "slack water" when the weather permits.

Many experienced locals have questioned how reality will impinge upon this need and speak about their experience with wind, waves, and fog. This summer is a prime example. It's been fog, fog, fog. What impact would this have on the passage of LNG tankers and the economics of LNG operations in Passamaquoddy Bay?  One must wonder.

More particularly, considering the exclusion zone around these vessels, what impact will tankers, forced to hold in Passamaquoddy Bay, Friar Roads or off Campobello, have on essential local fisheries, tourism, shipping, and aquaculture activities? And how will the proposed bow lookout see the whales they insist they can avoid?

Photo Credit: Joyce Morrell. Fog Journal on Flickr.

Bay of Fundy's 2nd N.B. reactor threatened by AECL, weak economy

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Last Updated: Monday, July 27, 2009 | 4:32 PM AT CBC News

New Brunswick Energy Minister Jack Keir is worried that continued uncertainty surrounding the economy and the future of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. could threaten the development of a second nuclear reactor in the province.

Keir said in an interview Monday he's still hopeful there'll be a second nuclear power plant at Point Lepreau. But the energy minister is acknowledging the project's investors want to see stability at the federal Crown corporation that would build the reactor.

"These investors have sat down with AECL and talked to them about using their technology. And certainly that's causing me some concern, in terms of what the federal government's going to do with AECL and whether they're going to sell it or keep it and give it the required funds," Keir said.

Team Candu New Brunswick, a consortium of corporations including AECL, is studying the possibility of privately building an ACR-1000 reactor and selling that power directly to the U.S. market.

The federal government announced in May it is restructuring AECL and may sell a stake in its commercial reactor division.

More ....http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2009/07/27/nb-lepreau-aecl-reactor-350.html

Photo Credit: NB Power

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Abolish the Legislation that prevents Alewife from spawning in St. Croix - IJC

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Blocking alewife spawning in the St. Croix may have been the seminal event in destroying the 10 million dollar plus fishery in the St. Croix River Estuary. This move by the International Joint Commission is vital to the restoration of this Canadian Heritage River.


Fish blockade between N.B., Maine faces stormier waters
By Randy Boswell , Canwest News ServiceJuly 25, 2009
A watery, 185-kilometre stretch of the U.S.-Canada border between Maine and New Brunswick has become an international battleground over the fate of the alewife, a hand-sized fish that has been blocked from migrating up the St. Croix River since 1995 under an order from Maine's legislature aimed at protecting the state's sport-fishing industry.
While fishing guides along the St. Croix have long blamed alewives for devouring juvenile smallmouth bass and other fish favoured by anglers, U.S. and Canadian scientists - including experts with Maine's own fisheries department - have found no evidence to support the claim.
Now, in an unprecedented step into controversial waters, the Ottawa-based International Joint Commission - the Canada-U.S. agency that oversees boundary rivers and lakes between the two countries - has strongly urged Maine Gov. John Baldacci to reopen the entire St. Croix system to the alewife or face tougher measures from the bi-national body.

Pointing to a recent report by the IJC's own St. Croix River watershed board and the results of a heated public meeting in New Brunswick last month, the commission's Canadian co-chair Herb Gray and his American counterpart Irene Brooks sent a letter to Baldacci on July 10 pressing him to reopen the main alewife fish ladder at the Grand Falls dam along the U.S. side of the river.
"Your administration's leadership is needed to help restore the ecological integrity of the St. Croix system," they wrote.

See entire article here:  http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Fish+blockade+between+Maine+faces+stormier+waters/1829053/story.html

Image Credit and Copyright: Art MacKay

Good News - Bad News: Irving Shelves Second Refinery

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 News Item - Friday, July 24, 2009 | 1:43 PM - CBC News

Irving Oil Ltd. has announced that it will not proceed with the proposed second oil refinery project in Saint John, N.B. 
Irving Oil Ltd. has announced that it will not proceed with the proposed second oil refinery project in Saint John, N.B. (CBC)Irving Oil Ltd. and BP have halted plans to build a second oil refinery just outside of Saint John, officials announced on Friday.

Kevin Scott, Irving Oil's commercial director of refining growth, announced the decision about the second refinery project at a Saint John news conference.

A study conducted by Irving Oil and the international oil giant over the past 18 months concluded that the project was not viable during the economic downturn and the softening demand for petroleum products.

See entire article: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2009/07/24/nb-irving-refinery-1012.html

Passamaquoddy LNG Issue Continues to Split Friends, Family, and Communities

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The level of acrimony that LNG developers have spawned over the last few years has continued to rise. It began with Quoddy Bay LNG's move into Sipayik which split native American families and friends there, moved to the towns and villages where the other sites were proposed and created a huge international fuss that has now reached the point where many Canadians feel insecure and unwelcome in the American half of their natural and historic international community.

Now Eastport is being split again and the town fathers are seen to be bowing to the wishes of the small and vocal group of promoters that have a vested interest and who will, or believe they will, profit largely if any of these developments proceed. This is particularly true of some who are so pro-LNG in the face of their friends and neighbours concerns, that one must wonder why they would abuse their community members the way they do. In the absence of proof, one can only guess what motivates them.

In any event, the following links outline the conflicts in Eastport today:

# Biting the dust - http://www.savepassamaquoddybay.org/news_archives/2009/news_2009jul.html#25_telegram
# City’s FERC comments irk harbor pilots (Jul 24) - http://www.savepassamaquoddybay.org/news_archives/2009/news_2009jul.html#25_qt2
# Council votes to withdraw LNG comments (Jul 24) - http://www.savepassamaquoddybay.org/news_archives/2009/news_2009jul.html#25_qt3
# Avoiding a debilitating debate [Editorial] (Jul 24) - http://www.savepassamaquoddybay.org/news_archives/2009/news_2009jul.html#25_qt4

That`s my opinion today.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Head Harbour Passage Could Become Lethal Echochamber

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It might sound like something out of a bad sci-fi film: whales sent into suicidal dashes toward the ocean’s surface to escape the madness-inducing echo chamber that we humans have made of their sound-sensitive habitat. But since the Canary Islands stranding in 2002, similar necropsy results have turned up with a number of beached whales, and the deleterious effects of sonar and other human-generated sounds on ocean ecosystems have been firmly established.

Read this and then imagine what it would be like in a restricted environment like Head Harbour Passage where whales, porpoises, seals, LNG tankers, powerful tugs, and high-speed security vessels are all sharing a restricted space like Head Harbour Passage!

Read the entire article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/magazine/12whales-t.html?_r=4&emc=eta1

Photo Credit: Art MacKay files
Thanks to VN

Bay of Fundy in wonders of nature final

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Last Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | 1:20 PM AT

The view of New Brunswick's Cape Enrage in the Bay of Fundy. 
The view of New Brunswick's Cape Enrage in the Bay of Fundy. (N.B. tourism department/Canadian Press)
 The Bay of Fundy has swept into the final round of an international contest designed to name the next seven wonders of nature. The Bay of Fundy, Canada's only remaining entrant in the contest, was named on Tuesday to the Top 28 of the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign.

Terri McColloch, the manager of the Bay of Fundy Tourism Board, said she's excited about the international distinction. "It's kind of like being in the Olympics or on the podium or close to the podium," McColloch said. The bay is now competing with other major tourist attractions such as  the Dead Sea, the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon rainforest. The New 7 Wonders campaign, led by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber, aims to support, preserve and restore monuments and natural sites.

Winning sites to be announced in 2011

The public can now begin voting for the Final 7. The winners will be announced in 2011 leaving time for tourists to travel to the hot spots. "I think it will really give the region more exposure as a place for people to visit and enjoy," McColloch said. "Obviously it would be nice if we had a few more tourists, it's been a bit of a quiet season all around." McCullough can't say how much of an economic boost the Top 28 will be, but she is confident that the Fundy tides will pull in enough votes to come out on top. The bay with the world's highest tides were a late addition to the previous round of voting. The bay was reinstated in the global competition in mid-June after Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park was disqualified for not meeting contest requirements.

USA gets serious about health of the oceans and Great Lakes

Thanks to VN
The oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes provide jobs, food, energy resources, ecological services, recreation, and tourism opportunities, and play critical roles in our Nation's transportation, economy, and trade, as well as the global mobility of our Armed Forces and the maintenance of international peace and security. We have a stewardship responsibility to maintain healthy, resilient, and sustainable oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes resources for the benefit of this and future generations.
Yet, the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes are subject to substantial pressures and face significant environmental challenges. Challenges include water pollution and degraded coastal water quality caused by industrial and commercial activities both onshore and offshore, habitat loss, fishing impacts, invasive species, disease, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification. Oceans both influence and are affected by climate change. They not only affect climate processes but they are also under stress from the impacts of climate change. Renewable energy, shipping, and aquaculture are also expected to place growing demands on ocean and Great Lakes resources. These resources therefore require protection through the numerous Federal, State, and local authorities with responsibility and jurisdiction over the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.
To succeed in protecting the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes, the United Statesneeds to act within a unifying framework under a clear national policy, including a comprehensive, ecosystem-based framework for the longterm conservation and use of our resources.
In order to better meet our Nation's stewardship responsibilities for the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes, there is established an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (Task Force), to be led by the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. The Task Force shall be composed of senior policy-level officials from the executive departments, agencies, and offices represented on the Committee on Ocean Policy established by section 3 of Executive Order 13366 of December 17, 2004. This Task Force is not meant to duplicate that structure, but rather is intended to be a temporary entity with the following responsibilities:
1. Within 90 days from the date of this memorandum, the Task Force shall develop recommendations that include:
a.      A national policy that ensures the protection, maintenance, and restoration of the health of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources, enhances the sustainability of ocean and coastal economies, preserves our maritime heritage, provides for adaptive management to enhance our understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change, and is coordinated with our national security and foreign policy interests. The recommendations should prioritize upholding our stewardship responsibilities and ensuring accountability for all of our actions affecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources, and be consistent with international law, including customary international law as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
b.     United States framework for policy coordination of efforts to improve stewardship of the oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. The Task Force should review the Federal Government's existing policy coordination framework to ensure integration and collaboration across jurisdictional lines in meeting the objectives of a national policy for the oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. This will include coordination with the work of the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council as they formulate and coordinate policy involving national and homeland security, including maritime security. The framework should also address specific recommendations to improve coordination and collaboration among Federal, State, tribal, and local authorities, including regional governance structures.
c.      An implementation strategy that identifies and prioritizes a set of objectives the United States should pursue to meet the objectives of a national policy for the oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.
2. Within 180 days from the date of this memorandum, the Task Force shall develop, with appropriate public input, a recommended framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning. This framework should be a comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem-based approach that addresses conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources consistent with international law, including customary international law as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
3. The Task Force shall terminate upon the completion of its duties.
The Task Force's recommendations and frameworks should be cost effective and improve coordination across Federal agencies.
This memorandum covers matters involving the oceans, the Great Lakes, the coasts of the United States (including its territories and possessions), and related seabed, subsoil, and living and non-living resources.
This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, regulatory, and legislative proposals.
The Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

FERC Authorizes Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline to Export Natural Gas to Canada

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Posted: July 22, 2009

Yesterday FERC issued an order amending the Presidential Permit and Natural Gas Act section 3 authorization to allow Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, LLC to export natural gas from the United States to Canada. The Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline connects to the Brunswick Pipeline, which transports regasified LNG imported via the Canaport LNG terminal, at the Canadian border. FERC's order clarifies that the pipeline can now be used for gas exports to Canada as well as imports. It is available in the eLibrary under Docket No. CP96-810.

Bay of Fundy Declared New 7 Wonders Finalist!

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Parrsboro, N.S. July 21, 2009 – The eyes of the world are upon Canada’s Bay of Fundy now that it has been selected as a top 28 finalist in a global campaign to declare the new seven wonders of nature.  Bay of Fundy is the only Canadian site and one of three on the continent to proceed to the final phase in the New7Wonders of Nature contest. The 28 finalists were announced at New7Wonders Foundation headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, on July 21, 2009. 

A New7Wonders international panel of experts identified the top 28 natural wonders from the campaign’s recent Top 77 natural sites (identified by popular vote on July 7, 2009). The Top 77 sites were evaluated by the panel against such criteria as: unique nature features, diversity of landscapes, rock formations, national parks, preserved areas, seascapes, ecological significance, and geo-location. 

The 28 finalists are now competing by popular vote to become one of the New7Wonders of Nature.  Public voting opened immediately following the announcement. 

“We are thrilled that the Bay of Fundy continues to be recognized as a top nature tourism destination in this extensive global campaign,” stated the Hon. Stuart Jamieson, Minister Tourism and Parks, New Brunswick. “It is well-deserved international validation to be selected to compete for a final spot in the last phase of the New7Wonders of Nature contest. This is truly an honor for us all.”

Voting in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign continues throughout 2010 and into 2011. During this time, the New7Wonders World Tour will visit each of the 28 Finalists to allow each to present itself to the voters across the globe. The final declaration of the New7Wonders of Nature will be in 2011.

“The Bay of Fundy is a phenomenal natural wonder comprised of the planet's highest tides, world-renowned geology and many other extraordinary features. National voting support will help position Fundy as a globally-recognized wonder of nature," said Percy Paris, Minister ofTourism, Culture & Heritage, Nova Scotia.

The Bay of Fundy, right in the heart of the Maritimes provinces, is a 270 km (170 mile) long ocean bay that stretches between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on Canada's east coast. 
Voters can go to votemyfundy.com to place their vote in this final and important stage of the contest.  “The Bay of Fundy regions of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have received a great deal of recognition since this campaign started in 2008 when over 450 natural attractions were in the running. Since the start, the public has shown remarkable enthusiasm for Bay of Fundy. The New7Wonders Foundation is expecting over 1 billion votes before the campaign ends so we need everyone’s continued support to help Bay of Fundy make history,” said Terri McCulloch, Manager, Bay of Fundy Tourism. 

The Bay of Fundy is best known for the highest tides in the world and has been compared, in marine biodiversity, to the Amazon Rainforest. The Bay is the summer feeding area for half the world’s population of endangered North Atlantic Right whales and 12 other whale species. It is home to the world’s most complete fossil record of the “Coal Age” (300 million years ago) as well as Canada’s oldest dinosaurs. UNESCO recently recognize the upper Bay of Fundy is a Biosphere Reserve and Joggins Fossil Cliffs as a World Heritage Site. 

Bay of Fundy Tourism is the Bay of Fundy’s official nominating committee in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign. The mission of the Bay of Fundy Tourism is to raise the profile of the Bay of Fundy as a Canadian nature tourism icon. This non-profit association is supported by Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture & Heritage; New Brunswick Tourism & Parks; Regional Development & Tourism Associations; municipalities; and, tourism businesses. 

For further information please contact:

Terri McCulloch
Manager, Bay of Fundy Tourism

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bay of Fundy reaches semi-finals in Seven Wonders contest

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Thu. Jul 9 - 11:54 AM

Atlantic Canada’s Bay of Fundy is among the top 77 nominees for the international New 7 Wonders of Nature contest.

The Bay of Fundy made it to the next round of competition where a panel narrows down the 77 nominees to 28. The 28 finalists will be announced July 21.

The Bay of Fundy was among 440 natural wonders selected for the contest.

In the most recent round of competition, people everywhere were able to vote for their favourite sites. Voting closed Tuesday.

Terri McCulloch, manager of Bay of Fundy Tourism, was fairly confident the Bay of Fundy would make it to the top 77 list. She said she’s been following the live voting results and the Atlantic Canada site has usually been in the top 77.

Ms. McCulloch is hoping the Bay of Fundy will make the list of 28 finalists. The top seven will be selected from the that list.

The contest is being run by the New7Wonders Foundation, based in Switzerland.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

NB Southern Railroad gets stimulus grant.

Thanks to: http://www.traingeek.ca/blog/labels/nbsr.html

Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Big NBSR AnnouncementNBSR 2319 and Supporters. Photo from Province of New Brunswick web site
L-R: John Murphy, VP Transportation, JD Irving Ltd; Premier Shawn Graham; Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson; James Irving, President, NBSR; Rick Miles, Fredericton-Silverwood MLA; Ian Simpson, General Manager of NBSR. Photo courtesy Province of New Brunswick.

The announcement was made this morning. The federal and provincial governments will each invest up to $9 million in right-of-way improvements, including ties, rails, bridges, and yard improvements in Saint John and McAdam. NB Southern Railway will invest an unspecified amount. The track from Saint John to the Maine border will be upgraded, as well as the McAdam to Saint Stephen branch. The money is to be spent in 2009 and 2010.

Rambler first to finish Marblehead to Halifax Race.

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RAMBLER, the first of 97 yachts to complete the Marblehead to Halifax Race. More at: http://thechronicleherald.ca/Sports/1130958.html

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Province takes firm stance with FERC on proposed LNG development in Passamaquoddy Bay

Intergovernmental Affairs
Province submits comments on Downeast LNG draft environmental impact statement (09/07/07)NB 958
July 7, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The results of an interdepartmental review of the draft environmental impact statement recently issued by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the proposed Downeast liquified natural gas (LNG) project in Maine were sent to FERC on Monday, July 6, by Premier Shawn Graham. The report analyzes and highlights many significant impacts on New Brunswick, its residents, environment and economy, of the LNG vessel transit associated with the project.
"The proposed Downeast LNG project would have major impacts on the lives of New Brunswickers who live and work on Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay," said Graham. "This report indicates that our environment would be negatively affected, our tourism- and environmental-based economy would suffer, and the safety and security of the region could be compromised by this proposal."
Graham said that the development of an LNG project represents a complex undertaking even under the best conditions. He emphasized that with respect to siting LNG facilities near Passamaquoddy Bay, the Province of New Brunswick is participating in the U.S. regulatory process to remind FERC that a number of issues related to the proposals are outside the scope of its jurisdiction, and to highlight the significant impacts that the proposed projects would have on New Brunswickers living in and around Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay. As a result, the province opposes the negative safety, security, economic and environmental impacts of these terminals on New Brunswickers.
Graham also said that he will share the report with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in light of Canada's stated opposition to LNG vessel transit through Head Harbour Passage.
"As Premier of the province, I will continue to ensure that the interests and concerns of our residents and our environment are taken into account, and strongly defended by all necessary and appropriate means as these projects move through all regulatory processes," said Graham.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brendan Langille, communications, Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, 506-444-5070.

Bay of Fundy Reflections on Campobello

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Photo Credit: Joyce Morrell

The Essence of the Bay of Fundy Quoddy Region

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History, nature, and tourism ... the essence of Head Harbour Passage and the Quoddy Region of the Bay of Fundy.
Photo Credit: Brian Flynn

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Molly Kool`s Ashes Return Home to the Bay of Fundy Today

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The ashes of the first woman in North America to become a licensed ship captain will be scattered at sea Sunday (July 5, 2009) in the Bay of fundy off New Brunswick.

Learn more about Molly Kool here.

Photo Credit: Not attributed.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Red Tide Closures Add to ToughTimes

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Red Menace

This excellent article at the Bangor Daily News tells all about the hardships the current clam bed closures are causing in theGulf of Maine. More at: http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/109962.html

They are banned from harvesting mahogany clams.Maine’s Department of Marine Resources on Thursday closed all of Cobscook Bay and much of the Down East coast due to historic levels of toxic red tide algae. Areas south of there already were closed.

Red tide algae occurs naturally in the waters off the coast of New England and elsewhere along the East Coast. But during large blooms, shellfish can accumulate potentially toxic levels of red tide while filter feeding. The resulting sickness, known as paralytic shellfish poisoning, can cause serious illness or death in humans who consume shellfish with toxic levels of red tide.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Echo from the Past

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When this shot came this morning from Brian Flynn of Campobello, it pulled me back to the time when my family sailed these waters ... way back at the beginning of my journey on this beautiful planet.

Thanks Brian

I cropped this shot to get the feel of the folks onboard. You can see all three of Brian's original shots at: http://ilovequoddywild.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Great Bay of Fundy Images - Porpoise in Head Harbour Passage

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Just in from Danielle Dion of Quoddy Link Marine to celebrate Canada Day. This fabulous shot of porpoise in Head Harbour Passage just off Casco Island where they sighted a group of about 20, with a few cow-calf pairs. More at ilovequoddywild.blogspot.com

Bay of Fundy Images - Flareoff at Canaport LNG

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With it's first LNG shipment delivered by the Balboa Knutsen, the Canaport LNG terminal is showing activity with a iflare leaping into the air as the new tanks ``cool down``. Get the whole story at the Telegraph Journal website here: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/city/article/715270

Photo Credits:
Flare, Cindy Wilson, TJ
Balboa Knutsen and Canaport LNG, http://www.repsolenergy.com/rena/rena.html