For over 20 years, Sierra Club has been a steward of the Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust, a beautiful coastal reserve in Southern Maryland. Now, Dominion Resources Inc.'s Cove Point is trying to build one of the nation’s largest liquefied natural gas export facilities right here on the coast of the Chesapeake Bay. Given the laundry list of local and global environmental implications, Sierra Club is actively opposing this project.
The proposed project would lead to a substantial increase in ship traffic of huge -- and potentially explosive -- LNG tankers on the Bay and to Cove Point, as well as increasing the risks posed by dumping billions of gallons of wastewater into this large and complex estuary, made up of a network of rivers, wetlands, and forests. Futhermore, the project will require construction of an additional compressor station in the Elklick Diabase Flatwoods Conservation site, which is home to rare species of plants, animals, and migratory birds. It also will require a huge construction site on the Patuxent River next to the historic Solomons Island, known for its beautiful waterfront.
The Sierra Club has joined Earthjustice, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Potomac Riverkeeper, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, and Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper to file public comments and a motion to intervene in the proceedings of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) -- the body that will approve or reject this project. Additionally, through a consent decree with the prior owners of the facility, Sierra Club believes we have contractual authority to reject this new proposal. We lost our first court case but are appealing.