Ruppersberger opposes liquefied gas terminal

MARYLAND DIGEST

February 21, 2006

Echoing sentiments of a growing number of community associations opposed to the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant at Sparrows Point, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said yesterday that he thought the proposed project was wrong for the area.

Arlington, Va.-based AES Corp. announced last month plans to build a $400 million LNG terminal on the site of the former Sparrows Point shipyard. Shipments of the super-chilled liquefied gas would arrive by tanker, and natural gas would be pumped from the plant through a pipeline to Pennsylvania.

Noting that the plant, if constructed, would be less than two miles from the Turners Station neighborhood, Ruppersberger said he believed the facility would hurt revitalization efforts in eastern Baltimore County.

"It's important that we listen first, which I did," Ruppersberger said by telephone. "The research has clearly indicated that a LNG facility ... would not be in the best interest of the community."

Pointing to a Congressional Research Service report, Ruppersberger said he was concerned about possible accidents or terrorist attacks on the facility or on the tankers traveling in the Chesapeake Bay. He said the facility's operations would also interfere with recreational boaters.

Neighborhood groups, including the Greater Dundalk Alliance, oppose the LNG proposal.

Although he hasn't taken a position on the project, Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. has misgivings about the LNG proposal and has asked his staff for a full briefing, spokesman Donald I. Mohler said.

Laura Barnhardt

Chase

John Smith lecture tonight

Drew McMullen, president of Sultana Projects Inc. of Chestertown, will present a lecture, "Captain John Smith Four Hundred Project," today at the Marshy Point Nature Center.

McMullen will show the construction of a 30-foot shallop and describe its role in celebrating the coming 400th anniversary of John Smith's voyages around the Chesapeake Bay. A shallop is a replica of the 17th-century vessel Smith skippered.

The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the center, 7130 Marshy Point Road. Information: 410-887-2817.

Pikesville

Electricity co-op to be discussed

The Pikesville Chamber of Commerce and the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Chamber of Commerce will conduct a second informational meeting tomorrow about an electricity purchasing cooperative.

The co-op is open to any small- to mid-size business in Maryland that is interested in saving on electricity costs.

The meeting will run from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pikesville Hilton, 1726 Reisterstown Road. Information: 410-484-2337.

Towson

CASA nonprofit seeks volunteers

CASA of Baltimore County Inc., a nonprofit organization, seeks volunteers to be court-appointed advocates and mentors for abused and neglected children.

Volunteers must be at least 21, complete 30 hours of training and undergo a background check. Applications are being accepted for a training session to begin in April.

CASA of Baltimore County is at 305 W. Chesapeake Ave., Suite 206, Towson, 21204. Information: 410-828-0515 or casaof baltimorecounty.org.

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