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.