WASHINGTON, June 9 U.S. environmental regulators
have asked for more time to review a liquefied natural gas (LNG)
export plant project planned for a site on a bay near
The Environmental Protection Agency, one of the departments
that contributes to assessments of LNG projects, asked the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a 30-day
extension to conduct a review of Dominion Resources Inc's
Cove Point liquefaction project in Maryland.
FERC, which assesses environmental and safety issues
involving LNG projects, gave Cove Point a green light last
month. It is expected to make a final decision
on the project sometime this summer after a public comment
period and input from agencies.
The additional time "will allow the agency to compile
comments from its regional associate internal reviewers and the
required need for EPA headquarters' review," the EPA said in a
letter to FERC dated June 3, and released on Monday.
FERC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
U.S. green groups have also asked FERC to extend the public
comment period by 60 days, which would push the deadline for
public input to Aug. 13.
Some green groups say the plant, about an hour's drive from
the nation's capital, would bring the practice of hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking to Maryland. They also say the process
of super cooling natural gas for export and shipping it
thousands of miles to customers in Asia and Europe reduces the
environmental benefit of switching from coal to natural gas.
Dominion could not be immediately reached for comment.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Tom Brown)