FERC to hold first public meeting on natural gas connector station
Dominion planning to build Charles County facility for energy projects
Dominion Cove Point LNG has plans to build a connector station for one of its pipelines to connect natural gas to Washington Gas customers in the region and the Panda Power Funds Mattawoman Project.
But before that project is approved, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must sign off on it. And before there are any approvals from the federal government, public meetings must be held. FERC is
holding a public meeting in Waldorf at the Hilton Garden Inn at O’Donnell Place on March 2.
Karl Neddenien, a public information officer for Dominion, said the sole purpose of the facility the company would be building would be to serve as a connector station for the Eastern Market Access Project, which moves natural gas to plants for Panda and Washington Gas.
“We’re replacing coal and providing clean, efficient fuel. The construc- tion of a compressor sta- tion will enable additional gas to flow through the pipeline,” Neddenien said.
The project would be built on a property cur- rently owned by Dominion in Charles County. The proposed project would provide 294 mil- lion standard cubic feet per day of natural gas to the Mattawoman Energy Center and Washington Gas Light Company. The gas pipeline currently comes in through Fair- fax, Va., and travels into Charles County. The connect station would be built in the northwestern portion of the county in the area of Ackokeek in a forested area and would travel through St. Charles to the Washing- ton Gas Light company station.
Ahead of the public meetings on the property, the FERC opened up the scoping process on the property and is cur- rently accepting public comments on the matter. The commission sent out a notice on Feb. 15 stat- ing the staff will deter- mine “what issues they need to evaluate in the environmental assessment” of the area.
Kimberly Bose, a secretary for the commission, said citizens may file their comments electronically at the commission’s website and can also mail paper copies to the commission at 888 First Street NE, Washington, D.C.
“The primary goal of this scoping session is to have you identify the specific environmental issues and concerns that should be considered to be prepared for this project,” Bose said. “The format is designed to receive the maximum amount of verbal comments.”
The meeting will last from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with doors opening 30 minutes prior to the start of the proceedings. There will not be a formal presentation by the commission staff, she said, when the session opens.
Staff will hand out numbers in the order in which citizens arrive and will stop counting at 7 p.m.
“It is important to note that verbal comments hold the same weight as written or electronically submitted comments,” Bose said. “Although there will not be a formal presentation, staff will be available throughout the comment session to answer your questions.”
The proposed project would provide 294 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas to the Mattawoman Energy Center and Washington Gas Light Company.
Bose said the environmental assessment will present an independent analysis of the issues from the commission. They will consider the impact on facets such as geology, soils, land use, water resources, cultural resources, air quality, noise, vegetation, endangered species and public safety.
There will also be “reasonable alternatives” evaluated to the proposed project, Bose said.