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Panelists include Cove Point VP, environmental steward, Coast Guard, energy consultant


Staff writer

Residents and others interested in the proposed Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas exportation project will be able to hear from several of the project’s stakeholders, including a Dominion representative, an environmental steward and a gas industry expert, among others, during a forum next week.

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the League of Women Voters of Calvert County is hosting a public forum at St. John Vianney Family Life Center in Prince Frederick to discuss the proposed $3.8 billion LNG exportation project at the Lusby terminal. The LWV is a nonpartisan political organization that works to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy, according to the league’s website. Networking starts at 6:30 p.m.

The six presenters include Dominion Cove Point’s Vice President of LNG Operations Mike Frederick; Patuxent Riverkeeper and CEO Fred Tutman speaking on environmental concerns; University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory Director Thomas Miller speaking about invasive species’ effects on the environment; Pace Global Energy Management Solutions and Consulting Services/Siemens Corp. Vice President Kenneth Deans, who currently is not involved with Dominion; Commander Scott Kelly, chief of the Prevention Department at Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, who will speak about tanker safety, inspections and traffic; and Calvert County Commissioner Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) speaking on the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners’ role and the possible economic effects of the project.

“We’re just putting it on so everybody can be at the table at the same time,” LWV co-vice president Roberta Safer said. “We always put on a balanced forum, which has both — all sides of an issue represented. We don’t ever really want to do this without having all the stakeholders. Our idea was that many of the things that have been going on have been with a certain … agenda in mind.”

Safer said she contacted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is reviewing Dominion’s application, Maryland Public Service Commission, which is reviewing Dominion’s application for gas-fired turbines on Dominion’s property to run the liquefaction equipment, and the Maryland Department of the Environment. However, she said they declined on the basis that they’re reviewing Dominion’s applications.

The league decided to host the free, public forum because the LWV “tries to respond to the needs of the community [in a way] that has a balanced, much more even-handed but clear way for people to get information that’s factual,” Safer said.

The six panelists will make brief presentations on their respective subjects followed by a question-and-answer period with questions submitted by the audience.

Safer said there is a moderator, and the ground rules will be presented at the beginning of the forum. Questions will be submitted during the forum, screened by LWV members for appropriateness and directed by the moderator to the panelist to whom the question is addressed.

“There would be no outbursts,” Safer said, adding that there is no opportunity for the public to speak or comment.