In its permit ruling last month, the Maryland Public Service Commission stated that the proposed Cove Point liquefied natural gas refinery is not in the public interest and would be a net economic negative for the state. That should have been the end of the discussion and the project should have been denied ("Cove Point natural gas export facility gets state OK," May 30).
Instead, the PSC thinks that if Dominion shells out $48 million for absolution for the harm they will cause to the environment and economy, it will be acceptable. We cannot condone selling out the health and safety of our citizens.
The fact the PSC set 179 conditions shows they agree there are serious problems with Dominion's and the Calvert County government's plans to protect citizens. Unless a bridge is built across the Chesapeake Bay at Cove Point within three years, there is no mitigation of the safety risk for the 300 households that cannot escape in an emergency.
Nor is an adequate plan possible on a one-road route to evacuate or protect the 2,773 people in the one-mile zone alone. There is no mitigation for the 22 tons of pollutants per year that will increase the rate of premature deaths for Calvert County residents, which are already among the highest in the U.S.
Nowhere else in the world has an LNG gas refinery been built in such a densely populated area — and for good reason. Government's most sacred responsibility is keeping people safe. If Gov. Martin O'Malley truly believes that then he must assert his leadership and actively oppose this facility.
Cathy Calimer Zumbrun, Lusby
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