LNG Foes Paint Dire
Daniel Fowler, Herald New Staff
Reporter - 12/2/2004
Claiming that area residents
have the right to know the contents of reports commissioned by
Hess LNG dealing with safety and security, members of the Coalition
for Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities took it upon themselves
Wednesday to present to the public two potential disaster scenarios
associated with the company,s proposed project.
"Let (Hess LNG) refute (the scenarios) with the facts, and
the facts are in (the reports) -- and that is exactly the reason
they don't want to give it to us," coalition Chairman Joseph
Carvalho said at St. Michael's Church, where the forum took place.
About 45 people attended the gathering.
Specifically, Carvalho was referring to reports prepared by Quest
Consultants and Lloyd's Register North America, which deal with
the safety and security of both liquefied natural gas tankers
and the LNG facility Hess LNG has proposed to build in the city.
The reports are not readily available, because Hess LNG filed
them with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as critical
energy infrastructure information.
Coalition member Michael Miozza
made the first presentation, which highlighted what he believes
could conceivably happen if a terrorist attacked the proposed
LNG terminal by striking it with a small seaplane.
The incident, he said, would feature a massive fire, would result
in 70,000 people in the Somerset/Fall River area dying. Thirty
thousand more would suffer first-, second- or third-degree burns,
and many of those would die later. Only 10,000 people within
a three-mile radius of the terminal would live.
"The likelihood of this happening is highly unlikely, but
a chain of events could lead to a catastrophic event like that,"
Miozza said. "It could be 30,000 deaths, but even one is
too many when there are alternatives" for where to site
Miozza said his scenario was based on information he gathered
from a number of sources including the "ABS study"
commissioned by FERC, historical information and studies by both
James Fay, a former MIT professor, and Jerry Havens, a professor
from the University of Arkansas.
Alfred Lima, another coalition
member, presented a second scenario. In Lima's scenario, a terrorist
attacked an LNG tanker south of the Braga Bridge.
The consequence of Lima's scenario was 80 percent of the structures
in Fall River destroyed by fire, 50,000 people killed, 20,000
people suffering first-, second- or third-degree burns and 20,000
Lima's scenario did not impact Somerset because the simulated
attack occurred before the LNG tanker was in range of the town.
"What annoys us is that FERC says these risks can be managed,"
Lima said. "Nobody can manage a terrorist that wants to
strike a tanker. We believe these scenarios are quite credible."
Lima said his scenario was based on the same information as Miozza's.
While the coalition believes
the Hess LNG-commissioned reports should be available to the
public, both Lima and Miozza have followed the FERC process,
which should theoretically enable them to access the information.
Both men signed FERC non-disclosure agreements at least three
months ago in hopes of getting copies of the reports.
For FERC even to consider releasing CEII information, a person
must first sign a non-disclosure agreement in which the person
promises not to disclose the CEII to anyone else.
Neither Lima nor Miozza have received a ruling from FERC.
But Lima wondered what good it would do if FERC provided them
with the reports.
"If we had the reports, (Miozza) and I couldn't even talk
about (them)," Lima said. "It's a Catch-22."
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