Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CLIMATE: Ecology Action Centre seeks input from East Hants on rising coastlines

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Abby Cameron

The Bay of Fundy coastlines could rise with an increase in climate change. (Cano photo)

NOEL SHORE: Having frontage on the Bay of Fundy and the powerful Shubenacadie River means parts of the Municipality of East Hants could face issues with coastal climate change.
Jennifer Graham with the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax made a presentation to the Sept. 21 executive committee of council about coastal climate change adaptation that East Hants councillors may want to consider.
“It’s to present some information and give some resources around the topic of adaptation and climate change,” said Graham. “It’s trying to protect the infrastructure, dykes, roads, in a cost effective way, in a way we’ve barely even known we’ve done it.”
In Nova Scotia, coastlines are used to support the economy and recreation. Graham said climate change will put stress on the shores if they aren’t taken care of.
“We can add climate change to that,” she said. “It increases the height of storm surges; there will be more erosion along the coast; there will be a change in precipitation—not necessarily more rain—but more intense rain; there could be new diseases and pests.”
Rawdon Councillor Eleanor Roulston has lived close to the shore her entire life. She said she has seen firsthand what the tides are capable of.
“I certainly within my lifetime have seen some results of erosion and so forth along that coastline,” she said. “And communities have built up and it’s going to become important to find ways to protect them.”
The Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) that the planning and development department has created will soon have to include solutions for coastal climate changes.
“The gas tax initiative requires a climate change adaptation plan to be completed by 2013,” said Planning Director John Woodford. “This really is a relevant issue with the Shubenacadie River and our bay frontage.”
Graham said the Ecology Action Centre is working on a municipal strategy.

FISHERIES: Cobscook rockweed harvest ramps up debate on intertidal access

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by Edward French, Quoddy Tides

The controversy over rockweed harvesting in Cobscook Bay, which had simmered down this summer, may begin again soon, as three individuals are planning to start harvesting in the bay this fall, using a mechanical harvester being built in Eastport. Harvesting has not been occurring in the bay this season, since there was a significant increase in the number of landowners on a no-harvest registry, and Acadian Seaplants, a Nova Scotia based company, is respecting those landowners' wishes. Acadian reportedly concentrated its Maine operations in the Jonesport area this year.

The three other harvesters who have Cobscook Bay harvesting plans approved by the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) C Bob Morse of North American Kelp of Waldoboro, George "Butch" Harris of Eastport and Patrick Driscoll of Yarmouth, who formerly lived in Robbinston C have formed a joint venture arrangement to begin using a mechanical harvester later this year. According to Morse, their eventual plans are to have 10 to 20 boats harvesting in the bay and a processing plant at Deep Cove that would employ perhaps 10 or more people. The plant would make kelp meal for feed stock for other products and animal feed supplements. "We process 12 months of the year," Morse notes, adding that North American Kelp offers contracts to buy the seaweed, with the harvesting boats run by owner/operators.

Harris and Driscoll built a mechanical harvester last year that is now working in the mid-coast region for North American Kelp, as it was not powerful enough to handle the tides in Cobscook Bay. Recently they completed a second boat, a 20' x 8' mechanical harvesting vessel that was designed by Morse and then redesigned and built by Harris and Driscoll. The vessel was purchased by Tim Cranston of Eurocan Bio-Marine of Halifax, who will use it to harvest rockweed in the Halifax area, creating six jobs there. Harris and Driscoll are now finishing a third vessel that will be used in Cobscook Bay and shared by Morse, Harris and Driscoll.

Cranston notes that in Nova Scotia, "We're required to operate a facility for processing in order to maintain a lease for harvesting from the provincial government. We have to process the raw resource."

Ownership question

Acadian Seaplants had not continued with a harvest in Cobscook Bay this season, after the number of landowners on the no-cut registry increased by three and a half times, from 90 to 324. The increase occurred after a mailing about the impacts of the harvest on the ecosystem was sent out by the Rockweed Coalition. Acadian indicated it would respect the no-cut registry, while Morse says, "We will abide by all laws of the state" and notes that no state law says rockweed harvesters are prohibited from harvesting on lands that have been placed on the no-harvest registry. However, the question of who owns the rockweed in the intertidal zone has not been clearly resolved.

Morse points to a 2003 Maine Supreme Court decision that found a landowner has a right to build a pier in the intertidal zone but does not own the resources there. An analysis conducted in 2007 for the Maine Seaweed Council by a public trust attorney concludes that seaweed growing in the intertidal zone "was never intended to be conveyed into exclusive private ownership" and that harvesters "need not seek permission of any riparian proprietor." Morse says, "It's settled law. The intertidal zone is not separated from the 200 miles of ocean."

Concerning whether a court case would be needed to settle the ownership question, Morse says, "What do you want a court case for? Why do you want to determine what's already been determined?"

However, DMR Deputy Commissioner David Etnier says, "The ownership question can only be resolved by the courts." The department consistently has not taken a position on the question of ownership, with the Attorney General's Office advising the DMR not to do so. Etnier adds that the DMR has not been working with Morse on resolving the question of ownership of the resource.

Impact of harvest and allocation of sectors

In its mailing, the Rockweed Coalition had stated concerns about the impacts of the harvest on the ecosystem. Concerning the sustainability of the harvest, Morse says that mechanical harvesters "are more economical" at shearing off the seaweed and that the operator can control the height of the cut better. Under state law, the minimum cutting height is 16" and the lowest lateral branches must not be disturbed. "The top of the plant is where 60% of the mass is," says Morse. "From an economic point of view, we don't want to cut lower than that." He adds, "We want to get a video made to show to the landowners to stop this hysteria."

Along with his disputes with those who oppose a harvest, Morse is also contending with Acadian Seaplants. "They've tried to put me out of business with $400 a ton subsidies from Canada," he alleges. Morse maintains that Acadian, a Canadian company, not only was processing the resource taken from Maine in Canada but was "making it so no one else could harvest in Cobscook."

According to Morse, Acadian Seaplants wanted to be able to harvest from 82% of Cobscook Bay, overlaid its proposed sectors on all of North American Kelp's sectors in the bay and was unwilling to negotiate over the sector allocation. The DMR initially said there then would be no harvest this year, but the Attorney General's Office said there had to be one, according to Morse. "So we had to negotiate with Acadian," he says.

The dispute over harvesting sectors held up Morse, Harris and Driscoll's decision to build new boats. Their harvesting this year has been delayed because of the delay in building the boats and not because of the additional number of shorefront owners who added their names to the no-harvest list, Morse says.

Deputy Commissioner Etnier says that the law is clear that the harvesters had to meet to negotiate for the allocation of sectors in the bay and they had failed to do that. The four plans that were submitted in March could not be accepted because there was considerable overlap within the sectors. "We can't allow multiple parties in one sector," says Etnier. The four harvesters were then given until April 2 to meet to allocate the sectors. Because they did not meet, the commissioner of marine resources determined the potential allocations for each sector. Under the 2010 harvest plans approved by the state, Acadian Seaplants is licensed to harvest 1,501 short tons in Cobscook Bay; North American Kelp, 879 short tons; Butch Harris, 740 short tons; and Patrick Driscoll, 506 short tons.

Last year the total harvest was 1,200 short tons, or approximately 4% of the available rockweed biomass in the bay. Under state law, the maximum allowable amount that can be harvested in any management sector in Cobscook Bay is 17%. If the total amount that was allocated this year was harvested, it would total 12% of the available biomass.

September 24 , 2010

ENERGY: Alward to shelve Areva deal at Point Lepreau

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Generation: Premier-elect says he plans to put future nuclear plans with Areva on ice and concentrate on the ongoing completion of Point Lepreau power plant refurbishment


Premier-elect David Alward says he will put an agreement with nuclear firm Areva Canada Inc., to look at building a second reactor in the province, on the back burner when he takes the reins next month.

Toronto energy consultant Tom Adams said he believes the Areva deal was an attempt by the outgoing Liberal Premier Shawn Graham to direct attention away from a scrapped plan to sell NB Power assets to Hydro-Qu├ębec, which was originally met with public discontent.

Alward, who will be sworn in on Oct. 12, said Tuesday his focus will be on seeing a completion of the ongoing Point Lepreau nuclear power plant refurbishment, which continues to be mired in long delays.

"My priority is to get Point Lepreau up and running and Mr. Graham, perhaps at an opportune time, came out with the idea there could be a second nuclear plant in the province 10 to 15 years down the road," Alward said, a day after winning a large majority in the provincial election.

Areva, the New Brunswick government and NB Power announced in Saint John in early July that the French company - the world's largest nuclear vendor firm - would examine the feasibility of building a light-water nuclear reactor in the province by 2020, creating a clean energy park with other sources of power including natural gas cogeneration, wind, biomass and solar, as well investing in research and development.

The idea was that the private sector would finance the project and NB Power would operate the reactor.

But Alward later said the benefits would have to outweigh the risks for New Brunswickers and expressed concern there would be a request for government investment in the nuclear plant.

The Progressive Conservative leader said Tuesday he wants the existing plant at Point Lepreau back on the grid by February 2012 and that "other things will take care of themselves after."

Read the entire article here:

Pre-operational environmental monitoring report for the Point Lepreau, N.B., nuclear generating station - 1981 (Canadian technical report of hydrography and ocean sciences)

AQUACULTURE: Illegal pesticide use probed in 4 N.B. aquaculture sites

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 CBC News

Environment Canada has launched four active investigations into the alleged illegal use of the pesticide Cypermethrin in the Bay of Fundy.

Last fall, federal government investigators found the chemical cypermethrin present in weak and dying lobsters in the Bay of Fundy.

Now, further inspections done over the past few months have turned up detectable levels of cypermethrin at two other aquaculture sites in southwest New Brunswick.

The chemical is illegal for marine use in Canada, but it's used in other countries to combat sea lice.
'We know it's toxic to all crustaceans and that's a problem not only for our fisheries but for the environment.'— Maria Recchia, Fundy North Fishermen's Association

The initial discovery of lobster kills in the Grand Manan and Deer Island areas late last year launched two investigations that are still ongoing.

Ever since, Environment Canada officials have been monitoring the Bay of Fundy through routine inspections and sample collections.

Between May and July, they found levels of cypermethrin in certain fish farms in Charlotte Country, which led to two new investigations into its alleged use.

Robert Robichaud, a district manager with the department's environmental enforcement branch, said government officials have issued a legal document known as "inspector's directions" to the two companies that own the affected sites.

"Those directions are quite specific by nature. And what they require is the immediate cease to use any illegal chemicals — in this case cypermethrin — and to prevent it from being used in the future," Robichaud said.

The companies are Northern Harvest Sea Farms and Ocean Legacy, both are based in L'Etang, N.B.

Neither company returned calls for an interview.

Concerns raised

Maria Recchia, an official with the Fundy North Fishermen's Association, said she's concerned by the latest results.

"We know it's toxic to all crustaceans and that's a problem not only for our fisheries but for the environment," Recchia said.

No charges have been laid to date and the investigations continue. Robichaud said a violation of the inspector's directions can result in a $200,000 fine.

This isn't the first time the pesticide has been found in the Bay of Fundy. In 1996, about 50,000 lobsters were found dead in a pound near St. George. Tests revealed they were exposed to cypermethrin.

Many people at the time blamed the aquaculture industries in the area for the pesticide getting into the water.

Read more:

More about Cypermethrin:

Monday, September 27, 2010

EVENTS: Upcoming in St. Andrews

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More Events....
This Thursday  Sept 30th
The One, The Only, The Incredible 
Alan Gerber
Boogie Woogie Piano, A little bit of Fiddle
oh ... and throw in some Guitar as well !!
Alan is a high energy Performer
and has great Stories to tell
Join us first for a Conversation with Alan
Sunbury Shores Gallery  5pm - 6pm
THEN   at   8pm
in the Gallery
Alan Gerber in Concert
Saturday Oct 2nd  7:00pm
Sunbury Shores Fundraiser
(To Take Place Upstairs at The W.C. O'Neil Arena)
Your Chance to have a Chance to Purchase Art Donated by
An Incredible Range of Artists, Personalities and Folks Like ME!!
For info and details visit
Already We have pieces donated by the likes of :
Robert Bateman  (well known Canadaian Wildife Arist)
Jian Ghomeshi  (CBC Radio Host)
Natalie MacMaster (Multiple  Award Winning Fiddle Player)
Peter Powing (World renowned New Brunswick sculptor) 
Admission  $10 ...
You then have a chance to buy a piece of Art for $90.
October 4th  5pm - 7pm
at Sunbury Shores
Exhibit Opening
"Grand Manan 1930
The Photographs of George Daniell"
And Then Enjoy  A Concert with
Stephen Peacock  - Guitar
Nadia Frankovilla - Violin
Sunbury Shores Gallery
Admission $15
( Tickets available at Cockburn's or at the Door )

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Threatened Acadian dykes can't wait

Published on September 16th, 2010

It was only a few years ago when the United Nations predicted rising sea levels could have a devastating impact on two areas of the globe, most notably New Orleans and the head of the Bay of Fundy around the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We have already seen what can happen in New Orleans, how long will it be before we find out here?
The dyke and aboiteau at Amherst Point are just one of several pieces of infrastructure protecting fertile marshlands from the Bay of Fundy and it's a situation repeated in communities sitting on the bay in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Considering the power of the water that flows through the bay twice a day it's only a matter of time before these dyke and aboiteaus, many of them constructed decades ago, begin to fail. Fortunately it hasn't happened yet. There has been some flooding, but it's only a matter of time before a major storm -_like a Saxby Gale - leads to the failure of the dykelands and brings about massive flooding wiping out key pieces of infrastructure such as the railway or the highway that runs between the two provinces.
This is not to say the province has been asleep at the switch. It's well aware of what's going on. The problem is finding the money required to bring about a long-term fix. It's something that could cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to fix properly and there's no guarantee the expertise available when the dykes were first built even exists today.
What needs to happen is a co-operative effort among all levels of government, including the federal government, to first find workable solutions and then come up with the money to fix them. This should not become a juridictional issue and it can no longer be a back burner issue because that next major storm may just be over the horizon. We can only hope it's not another New Orleans post-Katrina situation where the damage was done before people started asking questions.
Media credit:

New Highway 1 swath west of Kerr's Ridge

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These two interesting aerials just in from Tim Foulkes showing work between Johnston Lake and Bonaparte Lake.

He has also posted a video at YouTube:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Scallop diving crew saved from Reversing Falls

Rescue: Small tow-boat from north end pulls sailboat with five people to shore after motor dies in the worst possible spot


SAINT JOHN - The Bright Star's engine could have died anywhere between here and Grand Manan.

Click to Enlarge

Cindy Wilson/Telegraph-Journal

Herb Duncan speaks to a reporter with his son Doug Duncan looking on, after their sailboat Bright Star was towed to safety from the Reversing Falls.

Click to Enlarge

Cindy Wilson/Telegraph-Journal

Bright Star is towed after the sailboat's engine died. Owner Herb Duncan says the attention wasn't worth all the fuss.

But just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, the 38-foot sail boat stalled right in the middle of the Reversing Falls, just metres from its destination at the Saint John Power Boat Club.

With the tide on the way out, but the force of the Bay of Fundy still pushing in, the sailboat and its five-man crew began to spin in circles.

"You just sit there and you're at the mercy of the falls," said Herb Duncan, shortly after making it safely to shore.

"We weren't going out and we weren't going in, we were just sort of sitting there, spinning around," said Duncan, who has owned the boat for 35 years.

Duncan used his cell phone to call the boat club for a tow. At the same time, someone had called 9-1-1, and the Coast Guard and fire department's water rescue unit were dispatched to the scene.

Two fishermen in a small boat tried to help, but Duncan told them to cut adrift, for fear they would be sucked in, too.

Bernie Ritchie, Brian Reid, and his golden retriever, Tucker, left the north end boat club in a 16-foot tow-boat to drag the large sailboat to safety.

"It was rough and windy and sloppy," Ritchie said after the rescue. "And we were in a little boat and they weigh a lot, so it was hard to get going. Plus, you're going up hill."

But the smaller boat managed to drag the Bright Star in. The Coast Guard rescue as well as the fire department's rescue boat accompanied them in case there were any problems.

District fire chief Peter Saab said the crew was lucky. Any water rescue at the Reversing Falls can lead to critical issues.

"There are a number of perils there - whether it be the rocks, which were on both sides - or so much water that you could capsize the boat," he said.

The men were just returning home from a weekend trip to Grand Manan. They had left Friday to go scallop diving, and the diesel motor seized up on Saturday.

They decided to head back Monday but were held up by high winds. On Tuesday the wind helped push the boat back to Saint John in record time, Duncan said.

After getting through the harbour - passing three cruise ships - Duncan put the outboard to the side, he said.

"Everything was fine until we got beside the mill," he said. "Then the motor said, 'Your trip hasn't been exciting enough, so I'm going to die.'"

No one was hurt, and Duncan doesn't think it was worth all the fuss.

Still, he can't believe that the motor cut out where it did.

"It could die in the harbour, it could die in the bay, it could die almost anywhere," he said.

EVENTS: First Nations Festival, Saint John, NB

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POLLUTION: If Lobsters are dying, what else is being killed?

Another disturbing report of mass mortalities in lobster. As serious as this is, hundreds of other important planktonic and benthic marine species are second cousins to the lobster and form an integral part of the important Quoddy food web. What are the impacts on these creatures and the fish, birds, and mammals that depend on them.

We play this dangerous game at our own peril. My opinion this morning.Art


Bay of Fundy mystery: What killed the lobsters? - Published Saturday September 25th, 2010
Environment: Fishermen suspect pesticides are to blame, but aquaculture officials say they're working within regulations

CAMPOBELLO ISLAND - Fisheries and aquaculture industries are both awaiting laboratory results on the latest report of a large-scale Bay of Fundy lobster kill.

Peter McGuire/Telegraph-Journal
Fishermen had a healthy haul at Dipper Harbour last May, as seen in this photo, but the same couldn't be said for some Grand Manan and Deer Island fishermen, who caught dead and dying lobsters.

Environment Canada was informed on Sept. 8, 2010, by area fishers of a possible lobster kill in the Campobello Island area.

"On Sept. 10, Environment Canada conducted an inspection of the area and collected various samples, including fish, from adjacent aquaculture sites.

"The samples are currently being analyzed by Environment Canada's laboratory in Moncton," the federal department said in an emailed response to questions from the Telegraph-Journal.

Results could take several weeks, said Environment Canada spokeswoman Shalon McLachlan in Dartmouth, N.S. Wednesday.

Environment Canada opened the latest file while the traditional fisheries and salmon farmers await the outcome of the department's investigation into who dumped the poison cypermethrin into the bay last year.

On Nov. 19 the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association reported dead and dying lobsters in their traps to Environment Canada. More were found off Pocologan Nov. 23 and near a wharf in Fairhaven, Deer Island, Dec. 3.

Environment Canada collected samples of affected lobsters from Grand Manan and Deer Island as well as fish, mussels and kelp.

The samples went to the Moncton laboratory. Environment Canada then gathered information from other regulatory agencies and industry.

The laboratory tests showed that the dead lobsters from Grand Manan and Deer Island were exposed to cypermethrin, a chemical not certified for use in marine environments in Canada and known to kill crustaceans, including lobster.

Environment Canada opened an investigation Dec. 22 into the cause of dead and dying lobsters near Grand Manan. It then opened an investigation Feb. 10 into the lobster kill near Deer Island.

Enforcement is part of the department's mandate, as outlined in section 36(3) of the federal Fisheries Act, which prohibits depositing substances deleterious to fish into fish-bearing water.

"The investigation is still underway and evidence is being gathered. It would be inappropriate to provide further information at this time," the department said in an email.

New Brunswick farmers use cypermethrin to kill potato bugs. The United States, but not Canada, licenses a product called Excis containing cypermethrin to kill sea lice on salmon and other fish raised by the aquaculture industry.

Sea lice have developed resistance to legal pesticides in Canada, especially the in-feed treatment Slice.

This year the aquaculture industry brought three "wellboats" to the Bay of Fundy, treating the salmon in a pesticide bath on board then returning them to their sea cages.

Because of the time the federal authorities took to license the pesticide in question, the bleaching agent hydrogen peroxide, the wellboat program did not start till June, Cooke Aquaculture Inc. vice-president communications Nell Halse said in an interview.

Hydrogen peroxide threatens the environment less than other products licensed to kill sea lice, aquaculture and fisheries officials agree.

However, it does not work well in warm water. When the heat wave struck this summer the wellboats switched to Salmosan until the bay cooled in recent weeks, New Brunswick Salmon Growers' Association executive-director Pamela Parker said.

The wellboat program will continue into the fall to reach every New Brunswick salmon cage, she said.

Aquaculture spokespersons including Halse and Parker caution against connecting dots from the battle with sea lice to the cypermethrin identified last year.

The industry has four legal sea lice pesticides: hydrogen peroxide and Salmosan for bath treatment, Slice and Calicide for in-feed. An application is pending to use Alphamax, already tried experimentally, next year.

The industry wants a suite of products so that it can switch from one to another before the sea lice develop resistance.

Traditional fisheries spokespersons, Maria Recchia with the Fundy North Fishermen's Association and Melanie Sonnenberg with the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association among them, do not believe the salmon farmers can beat sea lice with more chemicals. They see the solution in fewer salmon in the cages.

On Sept. 8 a Campobello Island man planning to take advantage of an extremely low tide to pick periwinkles discovered the dead creatures that prompted Environment Canada to send samples to the laboratory, Recchia said.

The smell assaulted the man before his eyes fell on the dead lobster covering the beach, Recchia said.

"The suspicion would be, was something illegal used on this site?" she said.

The concentration of cypermethrin in Excis, the formulation that Maine salmon farmers use, would not cause the devastation noted last year off Grand Manan, Deer Island and Pocologan, Recchia insisted.

It had to be the agricultural formulation sold under Ripcord and other brand names, she said.

Recchia and Sonnenberg scoff at the suggestion that the cypermethrin came from agricultural run-off given the lack of potato or blueberry fields on the Fundy islands. Certainly not in November and December, Sonnenberg said.

At the very least having Environment Canada investigators poking around has to do some good, Sonnenberg said, with everyone watching for the laboratory results from Moncton with interest.<

Friday, September 24, 2010

Calais LNG must have Canadian cooperation - Sep. 24, 2010

U.S. Coast Guard says international agreements vital to LNG plan


CALAIS – The U.S. Coast Guard says Calais LNG must have Canadian cooperation when their tankers pass through the Canadian portion of the planned route to their LNG terminal.
The U.S. Coast Guard captain of the port for Northern New England, Captain J.B.McPherson, submitted his waterway suitability analysis and letter of recommendation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Tuesday.

The analysis refers to “the development, by the applicant, of standard operating parameters approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and coordinated with the government of Canada to enable the safe and secure movement of LNG tankers through Canadian and U.S. waters”.

It goes on to state “The most probable security regime should consist of a mix of U.S. and Canadian federal, state/provincial and local law enforcement, which may require cost-sharing agreements, as outlined in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

“As mentioned previously, a major portion of the vessels’ route is initially through Canadian waters. Calais LNG must be able to adequately demonstrate that an effective security regime has been established during the Canadian portion of the vessels’ planned route prior to a loaded LNG vessel being allowed to transit to the facility.”

Save Passamaquoddy Bay webmaster Robert Godfrey commented, “The government of Canada has repeatedly and firmly stated at the highest level that LNG transits are banned from Passamaquoddy Bay, indicating Canadian safety and security cooperation will not occur.”

He said all three LNG companies with proposals to develop LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay have known of this reality since 2007.

Canadian "coordination" and "security regime" a must for LNG Tankers to pass through Head Harbour Passage.

Sep 23
Filed Date: 9/21/2010
Accession No: 20100921-4005

Description: The United States Coast Guard provides letter of recommendation in response to the Letter of Intent submitted by Calais LNG Project Company LLC on May 30, 2008 proposing to transport liquefied natural gas etc under CP10-31 et al.

Summary: The Coast Guard Captain of the Port recommends in favor of using the waterway for Calais LNG transport; however, the Waterway Suitability Analysis also states...

The development, by the applicant, of standard operating parameters approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and coordinated with the Government of Canada to enable the safe and secure movement of LNG tankers through Canadian and U.S. waters, taking into account the need for...."

"Calais LNG must be able to adequately demonstrate that an effective security regime has been established during the Canadian portion of the vessels’ planned route prior to a loaded LNG vessel being allowed to transit to the facility."

From: Save Passamaquoddy Bay website

Thursday, September 23, 2010

U.S. awards grant for marine hydro manufacturing center in Eastport Maine

WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. 9/22/10 (PennWell) --

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

United States Coast Guard ignores Canadian rights in Internal waters.

US Coast Guard says Calais LNG site suitable for tanker traffic

Proposed Calais LNG Site. Tim Foulkes aerial
Washington (Platts)--22Sep2010/342 pm EDT/1942 GMT

The US Coast Guard has determined that waterways near the proposed Calais
LNG import terminal in Maine are suitable for LNG tanker traffic, the agency
said in a lengthy analysis sent to the US Federal Energy Regulatory

The "letter of recommendation" dated Tuesday is a key hurdle for the
company hoping to build a 1 Bcf/d facility with three storage tanks on the St.
Croix River and Passamaquoddy Bay.

The project faces opposition from the Canadian province of New Brunswick,
which asked FERC in February to reject the application because of waterway
safety concerns and promised to block LNG tankers from Canadian waters of the
Head Harbour Passage en route to the terminal. The province also opposes the
Downeast LNG project proposed for Robbinston, Maine.

Art Gelber, development manager of Calais LNG, said Tuesday that the
Coast Guard finding should dismiss New Brunswick's challenge.

"From our point of view, the way the Coast Guard handled this, they were
respectful of the Canadians but they essentially said, 'This is an American
port. We have the right of innocent passage. Those ships can come through the
waterway,'" Gelber said.

In an 88-page report, the agency validated the project's "waterway
suitability assessment" after consultation with the company, the Port for
Northern New England, community groups, and state and local emergency

"We are pleased with the cooperation of our port partners who have
provided their candor and expertise to the review process," James McPherson,
Coast Guard Captain of the Port, said in a statement. "We will continue to
work with the community and our fellow emergency responders to ensure that
appropriate measures are taken to assure the safety and security of the port
and surrounding communities."

The approval comes after a string of bad news for the project. In July,
managing member GS Power Holdings, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs Group,
announced it wanted to sell its interest.

The developer has since asked the Maine Board of Environmental Protection
to delay considering its application while it attempts to salvage the deal.
The state said last week that it would give Calais LNG until December 1 to
sort out the financing for the estimated $900 million to $1 billion project.

Gelber said the company is in talks with two potential investors.

--Meghan Gordon,