Gov. Hogan Refuses Safety Study for Cove Point Gas Pipeline in Southern Maryland

Cove Point Gas Pipeline PierPipeline. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
On Tuesday of this week, a team from Cove Point went to the Governor Hogan’s office yet again to present information about the potential hazards that the gas refinery, power plant and export terminal being built by the Virginia-based Dominion Energy poses to the community in Cove Point.

The next day, almost a year to the day that we initiated the petition campaign to ask Governor Hogan to order a safety study, his office responded with an official “NO.”

They said the Governor supports Dominion’s project and will not order a safety study. But even if he supports the project, that shouldn’t come before protecting his constituents. There is no excuse to forego a safety study so that Marylanders know the risks.

The governor and his staff are fully aware that:

1. A safety study performed on the facility in 2006 when it was a small import terminal (without the refinery, power plant and vastly increased quantities of volatile chemicals) showed that the risk of being incinerated by a fire to families living within eight-tenths of a mile was two and a half times greater than an acceptable level of risk. That risk will be many times higher now if the new facility becomes operational.

2. Industry standards call for a “hazard zone” of 2.2 miles around these facilities, but Dominion’s facility is directly across the street from homes. There are more than 2,400 families and two elementary schools located in the hazard zone. No other facility like this has been built in as densely-populated a residential community in the United States!

3. Explosions happen. A Dominion facility in West Virginia exploded into fire in September 2013. An explosion due to accumulated fuel vapors happened in Piney Point, MD, in 1986. And an explosion happened at the Cove Point facility in 1979. Fracked gas explosions can’t be extinguished. They are left to burn themselves out.

Given that the Governor is aware of these facts, we can only assume that he is willing to gamble with the lives of thousands of people in Cove Point. This is willful negligence. The facility should NOT be allowed to operate until it has been proven to be safe.

We are not going to stop fighting to save Cove Point. Would you stop if this were your home? We are going to increase the pressure on the governor and we need your help.

Here are three things you can do:

1. Join us for an emergency rally this Monday, June 26 at noon at Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis. Lawyer’s Mall is the area between the State House and the Governor’s Mansion. Spread the word using this Facebook event (post it on your Facebook Page and invite your friends).

2. Call the Governor’s office at 410 974 3901 and tell them that he must order a safety study (formally called a Quantitative Risk Assessment or QRA) for the facility at Cove Point.

3. Tweet at the Governor. His handle is @LarryHogan.

We know that public pressure works. The Governor campaigned on support for fracking and then banned it. This is a time to escalate our pressure. Please make every effort to join us in Annapolis on Monday!

And finally, we are going to need funds to make fliers, signs and banners. Please consider making a donation to sustain our efforts. Please donate now.

We Are Cove Point is a coalition of people and organizations who are working together to stop a new liquefied fracked gas export terminal that Dominion Resources is building in the residential community of Cove Point in Lusby, Maryland.

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