LNG facility delay urged

The Baltimore Sun

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has called on federal energy officials to delay a decision on the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal at Sparrows Point until questions about endangered and threatened species can be answered.

The service, a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior, has found that the project would be located in an environmentally sensitive area and could affect several species with habitats in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Those include the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and Delmarva fox squirrel.

"There are unanswered questions related to the federally listed, endangered and threatened species that may be affected by this project," Willie Taylor, director of environmental policy and compliance for the service, wrote in a letter Tuesday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Although the commission is expected to announce its decision on the project this month, officials at the wildlife service have asked that certification be withheld until further study is undertaken.

Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger said yesterday that he supports the delay. In a statement issued yesterday, Ruppersberger said the possible adverse affects to wildlife along with his strong concerns for the security of the project warrant a delay.

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