The following information was send to numerous media outlets and elected officials by Cove Point resident June Sevilla in response to Maryland Department of Environment’s rubber-stamp renewal of an operating permit for the Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant. Sevilla has training in chemical engineering and has made a career out of preparing technical reports.
The list of citizens who signed up in person to be notified of the proceedings were given a one-day window this week to appeal the MDE decision to the U.S. EPA.
See earlier article on the issue for more information.
Members of the Media:
Some of you were at the Dominion Cove Point LNG public hearing May 15th. The climate then was very pro-Dominion, a done deal, but we, the taxpayers/citizens in HIGH RISK COMMUNITIES kept up hope that MDE would be responsible when presented with the facts. A few of you asked what can the average citizen do about this pollution issue? Since then, we have been proactive, as follows:
June 1st: I appealed to the Governor and asked for a meeting with Gov O’Malley while the decision is still in State’s hands, in an effort to make MDE do the right thing. (see emails below)
June 15th, followed up on the meeting request through MD Senator Roy Dyson who had his formal letter hand delivered to the Governor’s office in Annapolis.
June 25th, MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson issued a standard response letter to both Senator Dyson and myself, “Currently reviewing comments from public hearing….Purpose of Operating Permit is to ensure that regulatory requirements required to protect public health are met.”
Not satisfied with Ms Wilson’s standard answer, I followed up with a phone call to the Governor’s office last week of June and then again by email July 2nd, asking for where we stand on the meeting request with the Governor.
July 9, 2007 – Gov’s office gave 3 dates for meeting between Governor O’Malley, Senator Dyson, and myself.: July 25th or July 31st or August 3rd. We are scheduled to meet with Governor O’Malley at his office on Aug 3rd.
July 20, 2007 (last Friday) MDE-ARMA issued via USPS written notification of their final decision on approving permit for Dominion Cove Point LNG Title V, stating no adverse effects on public health and the environment. (No changes to MDE’s position since the public hearing. ) I received MDE’s notice by postal mail on July 23, 2007 (Monday). The letter addressed to “Dear Concerned Citizen” was on a copy of the MDE stationery and was not signed by anyone in MDE. Is this how unprofessional and uncaring MDE has become?
July 24, 2007 – MDE informs us in their notification of Title V permit approval that this date is the deadline for appealing their decision with EPA. To the few of us who received the MDE letter July 23rd, MDE gave us only ONE DAY notice to file our appeal to the EPA!! MDE gave only postal mail addresses for US EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and George Aburn/MDE-ARMA. In the essence of time, I had to research the internet and call EPA to get email address and FAX for US EPA-Mr. Johnson.
See email below for my personal appeal to the EPA and request for an EPA public hearing.