Lusby, MD – A process that began in June 2012 reached a significant pinnacle Monday, Sept. 29, as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized Dominion to build a liquefaction facility at its Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plant in Lusby. The commission’s authorization also gave the go-ahead for construction of related facilities at an existing compressor station and at metering and regulating sites in Virginia.

A press release from FERC noted the process took two years, included the testimony of 140 speakers at three public meetings and received more than 650 comments from the public as well as federal, state and local agencies.

The Cove Point project will cost an estimated $3.8 billion with a completion target date of June 2017.

Project opponents have indicated the plan will face a court challenge.

“We are pleased to receive this final approval that allows us to start constructing this important project that offers significant economic, environmental and geopolitical benefits,” Dominion Energy President Diane Leopold stated in a press release. “This order is based on more than two years of thorough, exhaustive analysis by FERC along with numerous other federal and state agencies. It also reflects a robust public input process. Dominion is dedicated to constructing a safe, secure, environmentally compatible and reliable export facility.”

Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle said the company will file an implementation plan with FERC along with a request to begin construction.

In a statement regarding the authorization, FERC officials stated that “the commission found that the proposal, as mitigated with 78 conditions, is in the public interest.”

The mitigating conditions include stipulations for Dominion to follow when dealing with adjacent landowners, the oversight of the Office of Energy, Projects (OEP), reporting to conservation authorities prior to cutting trees and clearing the construction area, pre-construction stipulations, noise mitigation measures, a nighttime construction noise analysis and mitigation plan and a noise report after the facility is built.

Project opponents have cited concerns about public safety, air pollution, planned water use, noise and impacts on portions of the Appalachian Mountains, where drilling for the natural gas to be exported from Cove Point will occur.

“FERC’s decision to approve Cove Point is the result of a biased review process rigged in favor of approving gas industry projects no matter how great the environmental and safety concerns,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, in a press release issued early Tuesday, Sept. 30. “FERC refused to even require an environmental impact statement for this $3.8 billion facility right on the bay. We intend to challenge this ruling all the way to court if necessary. For the safety of Marylanders and for people across our region facing new fracking wells and pipelines, we will continue to fight this project until it is stopped.”

Contact Marty Madden at

Earlier advisory

Lusby, MD – The controversial Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas Export Project has received the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, sources have reported this evening. More details to follow.