Washington, DC – Several environmental groups opposed to the expansion of a Lusby gas plant have filed suit in a federal appeals court against the agency that approved the project last September.

According to a joint press release from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Earthjustice, the groups are claiming the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) “circumvented the law by failing to consider how Dominion Resources’ $3.8 billion Cove Point project would trigger expanded fracking for natural gas in the Marcellus shale region, leading to significant new amounts of air, water and climate-disrupting pollution. Additionally, the groups contend that FERC failed to adequately consider the impact of foreign ships dumping dirty wastewater into the Chesapeake Bay.”

The press release further stated that Earthjustice filed the suit in the Washington, DC Circuit’s Federal Appeals Court on behalf of Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), Patuxent Riverkeeper and Sierra Club.

Earlier this week FERC issued a 33-page document affirming its decision, issued last Sept. 29, to approve the project at Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas Plant, which would give the facility the capability to export natural gas to foreign nations. The project is underway.

“After months of delay, we will finally get our day in court to challenge the fundamentally flawed approval of Dominion’s climate and community-wrecking project,” stated CCAN Director Mike Tidwell.

“The Dominion expansion at Cove Point has been given the green light by parties at the county, state and federal level regardless of and with little regard for the likely impacts,” stated Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman.

A FERC spokeswoman told The Bay Net the commission has no comment regarding the lawsuit.

Dominion officials issued the following statement about the pending litigation:

“Dominion is confident the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the Dominion Cove Point LNG Liquefaction Project will be upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals. The FERC recently denied appeals by these groups to stop the project, which has consistently been upheld in the courts as well as by federal and state regulators, so  we expect a similar outcome.”

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com