At a special meeting with us in his state office August 3, Governor Martin O’Malley agreed that several aspects of SAFETY surrounding the Dominion LNG facility at Cove Point need investigation and immediate action. Two action items emerged:
– Within a week, MDE Secretary Shari Wilson will render to the Governor and those in attendance, a report on the Hazardous Air Pollution and Toxic Water Pollution.
– The Governor will place the entire Cove Point safety concerns before his coming state-wide review of Homeland Security issues.
We began by Senator Roy Dyson quickly showing me an article published in the August 1st edition of the Calvert Independent, which he promptly handed to the Governor. Puzzled, I asked what it was and the Governor said “You wrote it.” I had not seen the article until that instant and it turned out to be a verbatim copy of my oral presentation during MDE’s May 15th public hearing. After introductions, I started briefing the Governor using a single-page graphic illustration (attached) as an overview for discussing the alarming issues:
1- The LNG vaporization process produces HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTION and WATER POLLUTION which today is not controlled at the Cove Point LNG facility, endangering the health of citizens, the environment, and the future of Maryland’s seafood industry and recreational activities.
2- Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel and as such, it is falsely construed as a “clean” industry. The process, not the fuel is the issue. (The vaporization process of turning natural gas from its cryogenic liquid state (LNG) into the natural gas fuel that is piped into homes for heating and cooking is the reason Hazardous Air Pollution (HAP) are generated causing toxic air pollution, toxic dust and toxic water pollution.)
3- Dominion is polluting air and water with no Hazardous Air Pollution (HAP) reduction equipment and monitoring. Six out of ten toxic air pollutants already far exceed the MD Toxic Air Pollutants List from 200% up to 67,500%. I suggested that MDE refer to COMAR 26.11.06 and COMAR 26.11.07, the regulations which list these pollutants as CLASS I pollutants requiring action not previously required of Dominion. Residents and visitors at Cove Point Beach are on record as having smelled these pollutants and having all sorts of unpleasant and damaging respiratory and physical reactions to these airborne toxics.
4 – Dominion’s image as an employer and source of substantial tax revenue looms large while on the other hand, a person releasing the same amount of toxic air and water would be immediately put in jail for attempted murder and be labeled as a terrorist releasing chemical warfare. We reiterated previous repeated requests that Dominion be directed to do what is right for public health and the environment as a cost of doing business and we have yet to receive a reply from MDE that adequately addresses this major hazard to public health and the environment.
5 – The lethal, carcinogenic, behavioral dysfunction and devastating effects of these toxics on respiratory, cardiac, reproductive, blood and kidneys, immune system, skin, and irreparable damage to the body’s internal organs cannot be taken lightly and reduction/containment and mechanized monitoring of these air and water toxics are reasonable requests and a cost to be borne at Dominion’s expense today and not passed on to the taxpayers – (double jeopardy). This expense is a drop in the bucket for this multi-billion dollar industry, and MDE has t