PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) - Upset with Weaver's Cove Energy's plan to construct a liquefied natural gas facility in Mount Hope Bay, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch on Friday formally intervened in the matter.
Lynch and the Department of Environmental Management are upset a revised version of the plan puts the site 700 feet across the state line in the bay. Weaver's Cove is owned by Hess LNG and would have tankers bringing LNG to an offshore terminal so it can be sent inland through two pipelines.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is currently weighing Weaver's Cove's application, which was revised Jan. 30. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is also challenging Weaver's Cove.
"By strategically locating the facility just across the border in Mount Hope Bay, Weaver's Cove clearly is seeking to circumvent the regulatory and permitting authority of Rhode Island state agencies such as DEM and the Coastal Resources Management Council," Lynch said.
"Because it has, in fact, proposed a brand-new project, however, Weaver's Cove must again seek permission from all appropriate federal and state agencies. My office is intervening in the process now before FERC to ensure that Weaver's Cove does exactly that."
According to a report on Southcoasttoday.com, Weaver's Cove spokesperson Jim Grasso said the plan would give the area a boost.
"The LNG facility would supply the region with a much-needed energy source," Grasso said, according to the report, "and the construction would boost the local economy, creating an estimated 1,000 jobs.
"One thousand jobs for three years of construction is a lot of jobs for an area that is second in the state for unemployment."
Coakley, meanwhile, said Wednesday that her state owns the seabed in the area.
"We believe that states, not the federal government, have the final word on whether permanent LNG facilities are built in inland waters," she said.
From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at email@example.com.