Friday, October 26, 2012

LNG: Ooops! Downeast LNG stumbles again.

Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

888 First Street, NE Room 1A

Washington, DC 20426

eFiled on 2012 October 19

Re: Downeast LNG, Docket Nos. CP07-52-000, CP07-53-000, and CP07-53-001 Inappropriate Boilerplate Submission to FERC

Dear Ms. Bose,

On 2012 October 12 Downeast LNG filed responses to FERCʼs September 11 & 13 Information Requests (Accession Nos. 20120911-3001 and 20120913-3024). Included in those requests were inquiries into the proposed 20-foot-tall vapor fence specifications, and into how Downeast LNG would maintain those vapor fences.

In Accession No. 20121012-5103(27695846), in the very first paragraph, under 1.0 Purpose/Applicability, Downeast LNG claims it would install its vapor fence to ensure that natural gas concentrations of a certain level are contained within the EcoEléctrica facility.

Downeast LNG has obviously and carelessly pasted boilerplate text from a completely unrelated LNG project into its response to FERC. The EcoEléctrica LNG terminal near Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, is very different from the proposed Downeast LNG terminal in Robbinston, Maine. The settings and safety issues are different.

It is an offense to FERC, to the LNG industry, and to public safety that Downeast LNG has confused its

own application with the conditions at the Puerto Rico EcoEléctrica LNG terminal.

Save Passamaquoddy Bay suggests that Downeast LNG has demonstrated a lack of professional competence in its application, and that the applications be denied.

Save Passamaquoddy Bay

A 3-Nation Alliance

(US • Passamaquoddy • Canada)

PO Box 222 • Eastport, ME 04631


Robert Godfrey

Researcher & Webmaster

LNG: Ooops! Downeast LNG stumbles again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

OPINION: Removing dams .. beware the toxic legacy beneath the beauty.

Mill pondTens of thousands of old dams in the eastern U.S. no longer power machinery, but they still hold the toxic legacy of the agricultural and industrial expansion of non-indigenous settlers. A team of Earth scientists has found that, as the decrepit dams are removed, they release stores of lead, phosphorus, copper and other chemicals into the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways.

Even small streams could be turned into a source of water power for grist, flour, saw, and other types of mills. Sediment samples from mill ponds behind dams in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, showed the march of development across the area. During the 18th century, iron ore mining and paper mills began to deforest the region. The runoff left sand deposits in the ponds with traces of iron slag and charcoal.  From: Old dams hold a toxic legacy, Analysis by Tim Wall , Fri Oct 19, 2012 07:54 AM ET

The current talk about removing the Mactaquac dam begs the question … What does lurk beneath the surface and what energy losses will we incure? Perhaps its time to rethink conventional environmental management? Art MacKay

OPINION: Removing dams .. beware the toxic legacy beneath the beauty.

Monday, October 22, 2012

EXPLORE: History in Stone at Campobello

Slideshow. Click to advance or wait.

Three of these images are of a large boulder on the shore near Campobello’s Mulholland Point Light. The boulder appears to be sedimentary rock, similar in appearance to the rock found in the Red Beach area. Note in the close-up images of the boulder red arrows pointing to a series of holes and metallic objects. The objects are “feathers and wedges.”

Feathers and wedges were used (and still are today) to split stone into smaller pieces. First, using a hammer and hand-held drill, a series of holes were bored into this boulder along a line of desired split. Tight-fitting metal feathers were inserted on either side of each hole. Metal wedges were then inserted between the feathers and, in sequence, the wedges were repeatedly tapped along the line of feathers and wedges until a piece of the boulder broke off along a line of desired split.

It appears that in this last instance the hoped-for split did not take place, as the feathers and wedges remain in the rock. Interestingly, other splits were successful. Other pieces of stone split from this boulder were used in the stone foundation of Mulholland Point Light.

Harold Bailey

EXPLORE: History in Stone at Campobello

Saturday, October 20, 2012

LNG: Downeast LNG persists in its application for a Passamaquoddy Bay Terminal - Time for FERC to reject the last outstanding application.

From tourism to whales to cotton-tail rabbits Downeast LNG doesn’t understand Passamaquoddy Bay. It’s now long past the time for FERC to reject the last outstanding application to place an import LNG terminal in Passamaquoddy Bay, a process that, if it weren’t so serious, would be a comedy about how the dead keep walking.

Just how crazy this process has been is well documented at Below is the essence of our concerns relating to marine life in the area taken from an analysis of the Environmental Impact Statement provided to FERC by DeLNG. The full commentary can be read at: or below.

The primary elements of the “Quoddy Ecosystem” showing the proposed traffic route from the Fundy shipping lane to St. Croix Estuary and indicating the various proposals for LNG terminal development that have been considered or have made application to FERC. An alternate tanker route has been proposed through the Grand Manan Channel.

The Quoddy Region is well-known as a distinct ecosystem that encompasses St. Croix Estuary, Passamaquoddy Bay, Western Passage, Cobscook Bay, Head harbour Passage, West Isles, Grand Manan Channel, Owen Basin, and offshore areas reaching to Point Lepreau and Grand Manan (Buzeta,, 2003) as shown in Figure 1. As can be seen from this aerial view, most of the ecosystem lies within Canada; although the Passamaquoddy Bay shore and Cobscook Bay form an integral and important part of this system. The shipping lanes into and out of Saint John Port are shown in the background. This clearly illustrates the considerable difference between a well-established, straight-in, commercial service route and the convoluted route into the proposed terminal at Robbinston, Maine.

While I have a number of comments and criticisms to make about the DeLNG EIS as it relates to marine mammals and whales in particular, I was pleased to see that the EIS takes note of and recognizes the threat to listed endangered species and moreover recognizes the tight confines that exist in the Head Harbour to Passamaquoddy Bay portion of their proposed tanker route. The EIS correctly identified the conflicts that will arise. However, it is not sufficient to simply state that their operation is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of marine mammals. The proximity to endangered species that are protected under law in both Canada and the United States makes this a questionable venture. Breach of law becomes inevitable under these circumstances and, if, as we are all fond of saying, we believe in the rule of law, it makes no sense to test the obvious with an inappropriate sighting of a facility that could easily be placed elsewhere and out of harms way.

Like you, I am aware of the splendid efforts that are being made to avoid contact with right whales that
cluster around the shipping lanes into Boston and the Bay of Fundy. But, Head Harbour Passage is quite different. This is a narrow, pipe-like, passage that is full of whales, seals, fish, plankton and people and into which we will be inserting a huge ship the size ofthe QE2. Trust me, the passage at Green Island Shoal off Casco Island will barely accommodate an LNG tanker at low slack water. One minor little twist or tum in these turbulent waters and we will all be faced with an interesting problem.

During the Pittston oil refinery hearings, it was, in fact, the whales that led governments in the United States to tum down that proposal together, of course, with Canada’s scientific risk analysis on Head Harbour Passage and their firm position that still exists today. We are not being stubborn. We know what a special gift this place is and we know what we stand to lose!