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PSR helps win key delay against Proposed LNG export facility

Photo: Wolle8ball / CC BY 3.0

By Barbara Gottlieb

PSR’s health voice helped win a key delay in the proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility on the Delaware River, just south of Philadelphia.

PSR chapters and individual health professionals in key states joined the PSR national office in urging the governors of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware to oppose the proposed export terminal as a threat to public health and safety and the climate.

The governors, acting as the Delaware River Basin Commission, voted to postpone a decision on the project until they can review recently submitted data and documents.

Among the documents they received: a letter from PSR National and the New York and Pennsylvania chapters, Concerned Health Professionals of New York, and more than 50 individual health professionals, most of them PSR members.

LNG poses threats of explosions and fires that burn hotter than other fuels and cannot be extinguished. “Such fires can reach temperatures hot enough to cause second-degree burns on people and animals up to a mile away,” the letter cautioned.

The letter noted that the proposed facility would rely extensively on rail and trucks to bring the LNG to the port, and that “[a]ny incident either on land or with shipping vessels in the Delaware River could be catastrophic.”

Local governments along the proposed LNG shipping routes, concerned residents and community groups, scientists and environmental groups also voiced their opposition to the proposed export terminal.

In 2019, PSR published a white paper, Climate and Health Risks of Liquified Natural Gas, describing a variety of health and safety threats posed by LNG.

That same year, PSR voiced its concern to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about the dangers of transporting LNG by rail.

Read the letter to governors here.