Corps of Engineers sets LNG terminal conditions

January 14, 2009|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,

The Army Corps of Engineers said it will not issue a permit for a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal at Sparrows Point and a pipeline through Maryland to Pennsylvania until the project's developer has complied with federal wildlife regulations, prepared mitigation plans for wetlands that might be disturbed during construction and met other requests for information.

The Corps is the second agency this month to question plans by Virginia-based AES Corp. to build the terminal and lay 88 miles of pipe to transport the gas. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to delay its vote on the project, scheduled for tomorrow, until concerns about habitats for the bog turtle and Indiana bat can be addressed.

In a letter to FERC, the Corps said AES must also develop additional plans for the disposal of dredged material taken from state waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, it asked for more information on why an alternative Sparrows Point terminal site was rejected.

"It would be difficult for the Corps to make a final decision on a Department of the Army permit at this time," Margaret E. Gaffney-Smith, chief of the Corps regulatory branch, wrote in the letter.

FERC will address "everything we have received," said Tamara Young Allen, commission spokeswoman.

Yesterday, five members of Maryland's congressional delegation formally called on FERC to postpone a decision on the project.

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