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Energy Secretary Perry visits Dominion for its new export facility dedication

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  • Jul 26, 2018

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, left, and Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell II answer questions from reporters Thursday morning at Dominion’s new export facility at Cove Point in Lusby.

Dominion officially marked the opening of its newly constructed $4 billion natural gas liquefaction export facility at Cove Point on Thursday during a dedication ceremony where Energy Secretary Rick Perry cheered the completion of the first natural gas export terminal on the East Coast.

Under 20-year contracts with large Japanese company Sumitomo and Tokyo Gas as well as the India-based Gail Ltd., Dominion’s new facility has been operational since April, producing 8.3 million gallons of LNG per day.

Officials from Dominion and the Trump administration say the facility strengthens national security, reduces trade deficits, creates jobs and tax revenues for local areas and benefits the environment by cutting carbon emissions.

“This president understands the power of energy, and he is eager to unleash our bounty to the world, which is why he is so supportive of this infrastructure project right here at Cove Point,” Perry said after a brief tour of the facility Thursday morning. “We can become a reliable, competitive alternative anywhere in the world, and we will.”

Construction for the export facility started in October 2014, and the facility first began producing LNG in late January. Over the three-year period, Dominion said its construction project involved more than 10,000 craft workers and a payroll of more than $565 million.

“Everything was done first class” by a “first-class company,” Calvert County Commissioners’ President Evan Slaughenhoupt (R) said in an interview before he gave remarks at the dedication ceremony. “It was done perfectly.”

Slaughenhoupt later said in front of a crowd of more than 200 people that Dominion is the single largest taxpayer in Calvert County that contributes millions of tax dollars to the county.

“We are the envy of every county in Maryland,” he said. “Calvert County is proud to be doing its part to make America great again.”

Over the years, Dominion’s project has drawn continuous pushback from some local residents over noise complaints and environmental concerns. We Are Cove Point, a Calvert grassroots organization formed in protest to Dominion’s expansion project, has led a weekly rally outside of the governor’s residence in Annapolis for more than a year, demanding Gov. Larry Hogan (R) order a safety study on Dominion’s Cove Point facility.

Most recently in February, some nearby residents complained about the noises coming out of the facility despite the company’s 60-foot-tall, 1,370-foot-long sound wall. Early Thursday morning, four protestors waved at passing cars with signs and banners on Cove Point Road.

“There have been some, but there are very few,” Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell II said, responding to a question on the protest over the facility’s impact on the local community.

Farrell noted the sound wall Dominion built to keep the noises inside and the company’s “zero discharge policy.”

“All of the liquids that come out of the operations stay on this site. Nothing leaves,” he said. “All the power is self-generated on the site.”

Noting the company is “very conscientious of our neighbors’ concerns,” Farrell said the company is “very satisfied with what we’ve done” with regard to the facility’s environmental impact and handling of noises.

Perry added that there is an 800-acre buffer area around the 200-acre site.

“What they are doing here is environmentally, I think, a very appropriate response to being good neighbor,” Perry said.

 

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