Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Extended NIMBYism and LNG

Sure, we need fuel, and we need fuel where we need fuel and LNG has been safely transported for 60+ years, and the proposal is for a location 2 miles off shore, but.... see this.
To develop the island, the company would first need a two-thirds vote by the Legislature and approval by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. Local legislators, who anticipated that a bill would be filed by November, said they would follow Hull's selectmen's decision on whether to move forward with the terminal, which would vaporize the super-cooled gas and send it through a 1.2-mile-long undersea pipe, eventually flowing into a Beverly-to-Weymouth pipeline.
Safety is the foremost concern for local officials. A Department of Energy study from December 2004 found that an attack on an LNG tanker could create a thermal blast igniting buildings more than a third of a mile away and causing second-degree burns a mile away. Hull sits about 2 miles from the island, leaving it outside the danger zone outlined in the report, but officials still have questions.
''What's the potential harm?" said Bradley. ''They talk about a mile thermal range, but is that decreased if [the terminal] is sunk into the ground? Is that [distance] the same if it's over water? How many times are they going to have the ship there? What's the process of the unloading?"
Chris Olivieri, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the Jacobs Elementary School, where the town is about to invest several million dollars, is one of the closest points to the island.
Aaron Samson, managing director of LNG projects for AES Battery Rock, said there are no homes within a 2.1-mile radius of the terminal, well beyond the thermal impact zone outlined in the government report, and that security specialists have said that risk of a terrorist attack on a tanker is significantly lessened if terminals are located away from people.
Locals also have basic questions about tanker traffic, boating restrictions, and potential impact on local fishermen, who prefer to fish near rocky outcroppings like Outer Brewster and its neighbors. Tankers that enter Boston Harbor to make deliveries to the Distrigas terminal in Everett have been under heavy guard, with air, land, and sea traffic shut down.
Hull officials are also looking for potential benefits. AES Battery Rock has estimated that the project would create hundreds of construction jobs and 40 to 50 permanent jobs. Company officials have said that the firm would probably pay $10 million to the state to lease the island, as well as a projected $5 million in property taxes to the city of Boston.
''Hull is the most impacted community, in terms of the location of homes and view and everything else, so the case can be made that Hull should be on equal footing" with Boston, said state Senator Robert Hedlund, a Weymouth Republican who represents Hull.
The Hull Lifesaving Museum, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, and the Boston Harbor Island Alliance have opposed the proposal.
''We really feel that it is inappropriate for this land, which has been carefully studied and made into a national recreation area, to be considered for industrial purposes," said Lory Newmyer, executive director of the Hull Lifesaving Museum, which has accumulated hundreds of signatures opposing the project.
Let the NIMBYs freeze in the dark. They've got theirs.

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