Ruppersberger Opposes LNG Plans in Dundalk
(Washington, D.C.)- Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) opposes the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in Dundalk. He wrote a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today asking it to deny the request to build the facility.
The Congressman believes the proposed facility is wrong for the area. If constructed, the facility would be less than two miles from a residential neighborhood. Congressman Ruppersberger believes area residents could be harmed if there is an accident at the facility or a terrorist attack. Liquefied natural gas is a hazardous fuel that can explode when ignited. The Coast Guard is already patrolling the LNG facility at Cove Point in Calvert County. The Coast Guard’s surveillance capabilities could be stretched thin if another plant is opened nearby.
In addition, Congressman Ruppersberger believes an LNG facility would ruin revitalization efforts on the Eastside of Baltimore County. As the Baltimore County Executive, the Ruppersberger Administration invested over $130 million dollars to help revitalize this area. The Congressman wrote a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today asking it to deny a request to build the facility.
An October 12, 2005 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service entitled “Liquefied Natural Gas Infrastructure Security: Issues for Congress” cautioned that “potentially catastrophic events could arise from a serious accident or attack on such facilities, such as pool or vapor cloud fires.”
“I do not believe Dundalk should be a dumping ground for this type of facility. A liquefied natural gas plant is absolutely inappropriate for this residential area. I am concerned that there could be an accident at the facility and or on the tankers that bring liquefied natural gas through the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, the facility and the tankers could become potential terrorist targets. This type of plant would negatively impact years of revitalization efforts in Eastern Baltimore County and move the neighborhood in the wrong direction,” said Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD).
In January, the Virginia based AES Corporation announced that it wants to build an LNG terminal on the site of the former Sparrows Point shipyard – located less than two miles from Turner Station. The $400 million terminal would receive shipments of super-chilled liquefied natural gas which it would then pump to a distribution center in Pennsylvania.
The proposed LNG facility must be approved by FERC. The letter the Congressman wrote to FERC asking it to deny the request is attached.