Thursday, August 26, 2021

Environmental Groups Appeal Air Permit Extension For Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Plant In Bradford County That Would Emit 1 Million Tons Of Greenhouse Gases A Year

PennFuture, Clean Air Council, and Sierra Club appealed a second extension of the air pollution permit the Department of Environmental Protectionissued for the Bradford County Real Estate Partners Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility proposed near the Susquehanna River in Wyalusing Township in Bradford County. 

The facility would take shale gas from Pennsylvania, compress it to LNG, then truck or train it across communities in Pennsylvania to be loaded onto ships at a proposed facility in Gibbstown, New Jersey, before being shipped for overseas markets. 

The groups object to the permit extension on the grounds that BCREP has not commenced construction at the Wyalusing facility as required by the regulations, making DEP’s extension unjustified. 

The groups also object to the extension on the grounds that this second extension results in the use of an outdated and inappropriate “Best Available Technology” determination, that DEP relied on flawed analysis resulting in insufficient and erroneous air emission limits, and several other deficiencies spelled out in the Notice of Appeal.

If constructed, the Wyalusing facility would be allowed to emit more than a million tons of climate-polluting greenhouse gases annually, as well as hundreds of tons of noxious air pollutants that are known to cause numerous negative health impacts. 

The Wyalusing facility and the Gibbstown facility are part of a logistically and financially connected LNG export process, and PennFuture and Sierra Club also objected to a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that seeks to bifurcate this scheme, thereby evading FERC oversight. BCREP is a subsidiary of New Fortress Energy.

“Pennsylvania’s petrochemical buildout threatens every corner of our state,” said PennFuture President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo. “This legal action shines a light on the necessity for all of us—including DEP—to do more to protect Pennsylvanians from the harmful impacts that new fracked gas facilities like this will bring. We will not stand by while DEP allows the emerging petrochemical industry in Pennsylvania to infringe upon our constitutional right to clean air."

“Pennsylvanians deserve a clean energy economy, and they deserve a DEP that holds industry to its statutory and regulatory obligations.  We must not allow the fossil fuel industry to rest on outdated permits that are not protective of our communities,” said Jessica R. O’Neill, PennFuture Senior Attorney. 

“DEP broke the law when it extended yet again the permit for this massively polluting fracked gas facility,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Clean Air Council. “We can achieve a clean energy future, but not if we keep stacking the deck for fossil fuels.”

"Every step of the way, from extraction to liquefaction and export, fracked gas poisons our communities and exacerbates the climate crisis. The last thing Pennsylvania needs is another fossil fuel facility that will drive increased fracking at home and ship more pollution abroad," said Sierra Club Senior Campaign Representative Kelsey Krepps. "We urge the Environmental Hearing Board to overturn DEP's extension of the permit for this fracked gas facility to pollute our air."

Click Here for a copy of the notice of appeal. Click Here for more on the site.

Visit DEP’s New Fortress Energy webpage to learn more about their actions related to this project.

(Photo: Wyalusing LNG site.)
[Posted: August 26, 2021] 
PA Environment Digest

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