2006-04-13 / News

Court postpones LNG appeal

The Federal First Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to postpone action on requests before it from interveners in the Weaver Cove plan to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Fall River, Mass, that would require LNG tankers to pass through Narragansett Bay and connecting inland waters.

The Jamestown Press April 6 reported the court action included an agreement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to review the revised plan for transportation of LNG.

A FERC spokesman said the FERC is holding the case for possible review, but has not decided if it will review the new data. The court has given the FERC until May 22 to report on the review status, with an additional 60 days, for final review before the FERC must submit to the court the application record.

That record is for the approval the FERC gave to Weaver Cove before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard each raised questions about the revised plan.

The Army Corps and Coast Guard have reported plans to review based on the decision some weeks ago by Weaver Cove to use 725-foot tankers to and from its proposed terminal in Fall River. Weaver Cove said the smaller tankers are needed because plans were dropped to remove a bridge that is too small for the proposed 850-foot tankers that Weaver Cove originally intended. Opponents say the smaller tankers will make many more trips, involving complicated maneuvering.

The city of Fall River, the attorneys general of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Massachusetts Energy Facility Siting Board, and the Conservation Law Foundation jointly asked the FERC to revisit its Weaver Cove approval last July and confirmation approval in January. The January confirmation represented denial of several requests for review at that time.

Return to top