Letters to FERC


For up-to-date info, visit the Coalition for Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities' website:

The Latest Threat:
Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal And Regasification Plant

Stop the insanity - No transport and storage of LNG this far inland in a residential neighborhood!

It appears Fall River is on the verge of experiencing another environmental disaster. I'll just mention a few biggies:- we are the site of the largest solid waste dump in Massachusetts which is adjacent to our drinking water supply. Across the Taunton River we have the largest fossil fuel fired power plant in New England - the dirtiest of the "Filthy Five." For years we had a municipal incinerator that, from the first day it opened, never met clean air standards. Fall River is in Bristol County. Bristol County ranks in the top ten percent of U.S. counties for polluted air.

The latest threat comes from a proposal by Weaver's Cove Energy to build a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal and Regasification Facility at the old Shell Oil Company site in the north end of Fall River. Weaver's Cove Energy is putting alot of time, money and effort in trying to convince local residents that their facility will be an asset to Fall River. They have hired a slick consulting firm from Needham to "sell" us on this project. Well, we're not buying. We've suffered from enough environmental injustice here in Fall River.

The proposed LNG tank would be huge. Almost 3 times the size of the brightly colored tank that sits just off the Southeast Expressway as one approaches Boston. It would be almost as high as the Braga Bridge. The LNG tankers traversing Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River would be 3 football fields long, the size of an aircraft carrier.

Does LNG explode? The Weaver's Cove Energy folks say "no." Others say "yes." We do know it is flammable and the 7,063,000 cubic feet of gas that their tank is slated to hold would make quite a bonfire should a failure or accident occur.

It is approximately twenty-five miles from Rhode Island Sound to the old Shell site. Tankers would have to go under four bridges and pass by Newport, Middletown, Jamestown, Portsmouth, Bristol, Tiverton and Somerset before arriving at their destination. In Boston, city, state and federal officials think the danger of these giant tankers is so great that when they arrive outside the harbor, heavily armed Coast Guard boats and shore patrols are deployed and all traffic is stopped on the one bridge that the tankers have to go under, the Tobin. At a LNG facility on the Savannah River in Georgia, all other boat traffic is stopped when a LNG tanker enters port.

If LNG is as benign as Weaver's Cove Energy tells us it is, why does Boston's Mayor Menino call the tankers "inviting targets"? If they are safe why does Boston Fire Commissioner Paul Christian prefer that tankers not enter the harbor? Boston Police Commissioner James Hussey recently said, "Our concerns will never be allayed. Our harbor is attached to residential and business communities. It is a serious concern to us."

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor James Fay recently stated that if a projectile or bomb was able to breach the hull of a tanker carrying LNG, it would release a massive cloud and set fire to waterfront buildings within a half mile in minutes. Super heated air could cause first-to-third degree burns and start fires a mile beyond the incident.

Do we in Greater Fall River want a potential bomb sitting on our waterfront? Is that going to help us with our harbor development plans? Do the people living along the twenty-five mile approach to the proposed site from Rhode Island Sound want a potential disaster traveling past them over 100 times a year?

Past city administrations have embraced many ill-conceived development schemes despite the adverse effects they've had on our quality of life and we suffer from some of those poor decisions to this day.

We applaud Mayor Lambert and other local, state and federal elected officials for being able to differentiate between wise and foolish economic development projects. In the past, anything was embraced that would throw a few coins in the coffers. The first question should be asked of all economic development projects is, "will this project be an asset or will it be detrimental to Fall River?" An obvious second question to ask in evaluating projects, such as that proposed by Weaver's Cove Energy is, "if no other community wants it, why should Fall River want it?"

Green Futures supports efforts to bring LNG to New England via pipeline and tanker. We can't support the efforts of Weaver's Cove Energy to import LNG twenty-five miles inland into a heavily populated neighborhood. We suggest that if Weaver's Cove Energy is truly interested in supplying New England with LNG, instead of just making a quick profit off an inappropriate site on the Taunton River, that they partner with one of the international firms developing safe, environmentally friendly ways to get LNG to consumers.

Weaver's Cove Energy says their old Shell site facility will be ready by 2007. El Paso Company's Energy Bridge Offshore Terminal Program is expected to be "up and running," as they state, by 2005. El Paso says their system of off-shore unloading of specially designed LNG tankers "avoids the touchy and expensive issue of building conventional terminals to store and distribute LNG."

We need some visionaries at Weaver's Cove Energy. We say to Weaver's Cove Energy, "forget the old Shell site. By 2005 it will be passe, outclassed by newer technologies. Instead, why not move your corporate headquarters to Fall River and develop a true state-of-the-art LNG facility off our southcoast?

For more information about the risks and dangers of LNG, visit Lawyer Tim Riley's website: http://timrileylaw.com/LNG.htm

* Funding for LNG education and outreach provided, in part, by Haymarket People's Fund.


Thank those that oppose Weaver's Cove Energy's ill-conceived proposal. Tell the others why siting a mammoth LNG import, regasification and transport facility 24 miles inland and in a residential neighborhood is a noxious and noisome danger that folks shouldn't have to live with:

Senator Edward F. Kennedy
317 Russell Senate Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510

Local address:

Senator Edward F. Kennedy
2400 JFK Bldg.
Boston, MA 02203

Senator John Kerry
304 Russell Senate Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510

Local address:

Senator John Kerry
1 Bowdoin Square
10th Floor
Boston, MA 02114

Congressman Barney Frank
2252 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, D.C. 20515

Local address:

Congressman Barney Frank
Jones Bldg.
29 Broadway, Suite 310
Taunton, MA 02780

Congressman James P. McGovern
430 Cannon Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515

Local address:

Congressman James P. McGovern
218 South Main St.
Fall River, MA 02721


Senator Joan M. Menard
Room 520
State House
Boston, MA 02133

Representative David B. Sullivan
Room 39
State House
Boston, MA 02133

Representative Michael J. Rodrigues
Room 43
State House
Boston, MA 02133

Representative Robert Correia
Room 122
State House
Boston, MA 02133

Representative Patricia A. Haddad
Room 26
State House
Boston, MA 02133

Mayor Edward M. Lambert
One Government Center
Fall River, MA 02722

Fall River City Council
One Government Center
Fall River, MA 02722

Somerset Selectmen
Somerset Town Hall
140 Wood St.
Somerset, MA 02726

City Manager
Newport City Hall
43 Broadway
Newport, RI 02840

Office of Selectman
Portsmouth Town Hall
2200 East Main Rd.
Portsmouth, RI 02871

Office of Selectmen
Jamestown Town Hall
93 Narragansett Ave.
Jamestown, RI 02835

Office of Selectmen
Middletown Town Hall
350 East Main Rd.
Middletown, RI 02842

Office of Selectmen
Tiverton Town Hall
343 Highland Ave.
Tiverton, RI 02878

Office of Selectmen
Bristol Town Hall
10 Court St.
Bristol, RI 02809

Office of Selectmen
Warren Town Hall
514 Main St.
Warren, RI 02885

Office of Selectmen
Swansea Town Hall
Main St.
Swansea, MA 02777

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