City of Providence

Resolution
12178
Public Hearing Held
Dec 13, 2016 5:15 PM

Fields Point Liquefaction Facility

Information

Department:Office of the City CouncilSponsors:Councilman Seth Yurdin, Councilwoman Carmen Castillo, Councilman Terrence M. Hassett, Councilman Wilbur W. Jennings, Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan, Councilman David Salvatore, Councilman Samuel D. Zurier
Category:*Resolution

Attachments

  1. Printout

Item Discussion

Resolution in Opposition to the Proposed Fields Point Liquefaction Facility.

Document Comments

WHEREAS, National Grid is proposing to build a natural gas liquefaction facility adjacent to its existing storage facility at Fields Point in Providence; and

WHEREAS, National Grid’s proposal would construct an additional facility that would convert fracked natural gas brought in by pipeline, and produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) on site, with some to be stored on site, and some to be delivered to other locations via tanker truck; and

WHEREAS, Numerous environmental advocacy organizations and local community groups have announced their opposition to the proposed LNG facility, including the Sierra Club, the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island, the Providence Youth Student Movement, and the Providence Student Union; and

WHEREAS, The area surrounding the proposed site is adjacent to a low-income neighborhood and already has a high concentration of toxic and dangerous industrial facilities, including a chemical storage facility with a 14-mile hazard radius, an existing LNG storage tank, and a large oil import terminal; and

WHEREAS, Additionally, the area around the proposed facility includes numerous schools, day care centers, as well as multiple major hospitals and health care centers; and

WHEREAS, LNG poses serious safety risks because, while stable in liquid form, once it reaches certain temperatures it expands 600-fold and, when it mixes with air, it becomes highly flammable and potentially explosive; and

WHEREAS, In 2004, an explosion at an Algerian LNG facility killed 27 workers and injured many more;

WHEREAS, In 2009, a report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service warned that LNG spills can cause explosive vapor clouds; and

WHEREAS, In 2014, an LNG facility in Plymouth, WA exploded, spraying chunks of shrapnel as heavy as 250 lbs. as far as 300 yards through the air, causing leaks, injuries, and releasing vapors that created the potential for a second, even larger blast, forcing the evacuation of everyone within a two-mile radius; and

WHEREAS, If a similar evacuation were necessary around the proposed site at Fields Point, would mean the evacuation of tens of thousands of people; and

WHEREAS, In response to the Plymouth explosion, Ted Gleichman of the Center for Sustainable Economy said, “This tragic fire in Washington State demonstrates [LNG] facilities are inherently dangerous”; and

WHEREAS, In 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a proposal for an LNG import facility at Fields Point on the grounds that the project would not meet federal safety standards; and

WHEREAS, The proposed project site has an impact area that includes neighborhoods with populations vulnerable to environmental threats, including high rates of poverty, unemployment, and asthma; and

WHEREAS, The Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott stated in a letter to FERC that there is “ample data on poor health outcomes, elevated health risks, and racial and ethnic disparities within the City of Providence and in particular within the neighborhoods of Upper and Lower South Providence and Washington Park, which are in close proximity to the proposed project”; and

WHEREAS, Supporting the proposed Fields Point liquefaction facility could undermine efforts to reduce Rhode Island’s reliance on natural gas and other fossil fuels; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island is currently positioned to become a leader in renewable energy, with the 30 megawatt Block Island Wind Farm--the first offshore wind farm in the United States--under construction and scheduled to be operational by the end of 2016; and

WHEREAS, Other innovative programs, such as Solarize Rhode Island, are incentivizing small-scale renewable energy systems in our cities and towns; and

WHEREAS, The negative environmental impacts of the liquefaction process, combined with the natural gas extraction process (fracking), are widely known and include contaminating drinking water, adding hazardous pollutants into the air, releasing greenhouse gases, and producing toxic waste; and

WHEREAS, On March 17th, 2016, the Providence City Council passed a resolution calling for a series of public forums in which neighborhood residents could pose questions and share their concerns about the proposed LNG project; and

WHEREAS, In violation of the above-referenced resolution, no such public meetings were held, undermining public trust and denying residents the chance to have their voices heard, yet the City continues to act as a cooperating agency on the project; and

WHEREAS, The Providence City Council has a moral obligation to protect the people of Providence from the potentially disastrous impacts the proposed LNG facility will have on public safety, public health, environmental justice, and climate change.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the City Council of the City of Providence does hereby express strong opposition to the proposed Fields Point liquefaction facility, a.k.a. the National Grid LNG facility.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City shall take all necessary actions to oppose the proposed Fields Point liquefaction facility, including ceasing to act as a cooperating agency with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and shall not grant any tax stabilizations, subsidies, or any other forms of support to the project.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That, upon passage, copies of this resolution be delivered to the Director of the Department of Planning and Development, the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Corporation, and the Secretary of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Body

WHEREAS, National Grid is proposing to build a natural gas liquefaction facility adjacent to its existing storage facility at Fields Point in Providence; and

WHEREAS, National Grid’s proposal would construct an additional facility that would convert fracked natural gas brought in by pipeline, and produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) on site, with some to be stored on site, and some to be delivered to other locations via tanker truck; and

WHEREAS, Numerous environmental advocacy organizations and local community groups have announced their opposition to the proposed LNG facility, including the Sierra Club, the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island, the Providence Youth Student Movement, and the Providence Student Union; and

WHEREAS, The area surrounding the proposed site is adjacent to a low-income neighborhood and already has a high concentration of toxic and dangerous industrial facilities, including a chemical storage facility with a 14-mile hazard radius, an existing LNG storage tank, and a large oil import terminal; and

WHEREAS, Additionally, the area around the proposed facility includes numerous schools, day care centers, as well as multiple major hospitals and health care centers; and

WHEREAS, LNG poses serious safety risks because, while stable in liquid form, once it reaches certain temperatures it expands 600-fold and, when it mixes with air, it becomes highly flammable and potentially explosive; and

WHEREAS, In 2004, an explosion at an Algerian LNG facility killed 27 workers and injured many more;

WHEREAS, In 2009, a report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service warned that LNG spills can cause explosive vapor clouds; and

WHEREAS, In 2014, an LNG facility in Plymouth, WA exploded, spraying chunks of shrapnel as heavy as 250 lbs. as far as 300 yards through the air, causing leaks, injuries, and releasing vapors that created the potential for a second, even larger blast, forcing the evacuation of everyone within a two-mile radius; and

WHEREAS, If a similar evacuation were necessary around the proposed site at Fields Point, would mean the evacuation of tens of thousands of people; and

WHEREAS, In response to the Plymouth explosion, Ted Gleichman of the Center for Sustainable Economy said, “This tragic fire in Washington State demonstrates [LNG] facilities are inherently dangerous”; and

WHEREAS, In 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a proposal for an LNG import facility at Fields Point on the grounds that the project would not meet federal safety standards; and

WHEREAS, The proposed project site has an impact area that includes neighborhoods with populations vulnerable to environmental threats, including high rates of poverty, unemployment, and asthma; and

WHEREAS, The Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott stated in a letter to FERC that there is “ample data on poor health outcomes, elevated health risks, and racial and ethnic disparities within the City of Providence and in particular within the neighborhoods of Upper and Lower South Providence and Washington Park, which are in close proximity to the proposed project”; and

WHEREAS, Supporting the proposed Fields Point liquefaction facility could undermine efforts to reduce Rhode Island’s reliance on natural gas and other fossil fuels; and

 

WHEREAS, Rhode Island is currently positioned to become a leader in renewable energy, with the 30 megawatt Block Island Wind Farm--the first offshore wind farm in the United States--under construction and scheduled to be operational by the end of 2016; and

WHEREAS, Other innovative programs, such as Solarize Rhode Island, are incentivizing small-scale renewable energy systems in our cities and towns; and

WHEREAS, The negative environmental impacts of the liquefaction process, combined with the natural gas extraction process (fracking), are widely known and include contaminating drinking water, adding hazardous pollutants into the air, releasing greenhouse gases, and producing toxic waste; and

WHEREAS, On March 17th, 2016, the Providence City Council passed a resolution calling for a series of public forums in which neighborhood residents could pose questions and share their concerns about the proposed LNG project; and

WHEREAS, In violation of the above-referenced resolution, no such public meetings were held, undermining public trust and denying residents the chance to have their voices heard, yet the City continues to act as a cooperating agency on the project; and

WHEREAS, The Providence City Council has a moral obligation to protect the people of Providence from the potentially disastrous impacts the proposed LNG facility will have on public safety, public health, environmental justice, and climate change.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the City Council of the City of Providence does hereby express strong opposition to the proposed Fields Point liquefaction facility, a.k.a. the National Grid LNG facility.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City shall take all necessary actions to oppose the proposed Fields Point liquefaction facility, including ceasing to act as a cooperating agency with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and shall not grant any tax stabilizations, subsidies, or any other forms of support to the project.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That, upon passage, copies of this resolution be delivered to the Director of the Department of Planning and Development, the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Corporation, and the Secretary of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

 

Meeting History

Sep 1, 2016 7:00 PM Audio/Video City Council Regular Council Meeting
draft Draft

COUNCIL PRESIDENT APONTE Refers the Resolution to the Committee on Ordinances.

COUNCILMAN YURDIN Moves to Reconsider the foregoing Resolution, Seconded by COUNCILMAN ZURIER, by the following Roll Call Vote:

RESULT:REFERRED
Dec 13, 2016 5:15 PM Audio/Video Ordinance Committee Public Hearing
draft Draft
RESULT:PUBLIC HEARING HELD