A Voluntary Settlement Of An EHB Appeal By All Parties Requires Developers Of A Bradford County Liquified Natural Gas Facility To Apply For New Air Quality Permit

On March 18, PennFuture, Clean Air Council, the Sierra Club, Bradford County Real Estate Partners-- developers of a liquified natural gas plant-- and the Department of Environmental Protection agreed a new air quality permit would be needed for continued development of the LNG facility in a settlement of an appeal before the Environmental Hearing Board. 

The original air quality permit for a proposed LNG plant in Wyalusing Township, Bradford County was issued by DEP on July 24, 2019.

After two extensions of the air quality permit, Bradford County Real Estate Partners was advised that construction would not be completed before the July 22, 2022 expiration date of the second extension and neither would the August 26, 2021 appeal of that extension be resolved before then.

As a result, all parties agreed in a voluntary settlement that Bradford County Real Estate Partners would have to apply for a new air quality permit before moving ahead with the project.

The proposed facility is part of an interstate LNG export project that would take natural gas from Pennsylvania, compress it into LNG, then truck or train it across communities in Pennsylvania to be loaded onto ships at a proposed terminal in Gibbstown, New Jersey, before being shipped to overseas markets.

If built, the Wyalusing plant would have been allowed to emit more than a million tons of climate-polluting greenhouse gasses every year, as well as hundreds of tons of noxious air pollutants that would have impacted the local community.

The Wyalusing and Gibbstown facilities are part of a logistically and financially connected LNG export process contemplated by New Fortress Energy.

In challenging the air quality permit extension last August, the environmental groups objected on the grounds that BCREP had not commenced construction at the Wyalusing facility as required by law, making DEP’s extension unjustified.

The groups also objected on the grounds that this second extension authorized the use of an outdated and inappropriate pollution control technology, that DEP set air pollution limits too high, and several other deficiencies spelled out in the Notice of Appeal.

Click Here for a copy of the settlement.

“This settlement is a win for the local community and all Pennsylvanians,” said PennFuture President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo. “We will not allow international petrochemical companies to destroy our clean air and pure water and we will hold Commonwealth agencies accountable for protecting our environment and each of our environmental rights under Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Likewise we will not stand idly by as these same corporations push questionable projects that rely not only on a casual approach to permitting, but will also require massive subsidies funded by Pennsylvania’s taxpayers.”

“Our litigation showed that DEP cannot rubber stamp petrochemical facilities in Pennsylvania. We will continue to fight to protect our communities from the harmful air and water quality impacts facilities like this proposed LNG plant have, ensuring that DEP applies stringent environmental protections and limitations on facilities and denies those permits that do not comply with the law,” said Jessica R. O’Neill, PennFuture Senior Attorney.

“This settlement is a great victory for Bradford County and for Pennsylvania,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Clean Air Council. “An unlawfully issued permit for a dangerous facility is being set aside, and residents can breathe easier as a result.”

For more background, visit DEP’s New Fortress Energy webpage.

[Posted: March 21, 2022]


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