Group seeks answers about LNG proposal

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The city of Savannah is trying to get educated on hazardous materials in light of the recent request by El Paso Energy to start shipping liquefied natural gas.

That liquefied natural gas would be sent by the truckload through Savannah. Neighbors are now forming a group called Citizens for a Safe and Secure Savannah to get answers to their questions about LNG.

Kent Jarrington lives in Savannah and works as a consultant. He was with the CIA for more than 30 years. He's concerned about LNG.

"What we are doing is trying to get a grip on the issues so people understand the risks," he said.

He said that safety and security of a city on the table not just the profits of a company. Along with a group of neighbors, he has helped form citizens for a safe and secure Savannah.

"Our goal is to make sure public interests get served, not just private interests," he said.

This year El Paso Energy began efforts to begin transporting liquefied natural gas through Savannah. The proposed route from the plant on Elba Island would involve travel on President Street to Truman Parkway onto DeRenne Avenue and out to Interstate-516.

Jarrington said that 5 million gallons of liquefied natural gas would be going through the city a week if Savannah's petition is approved. He said it represents a post 9-11 decision that needs to look by citizens in a different way.

Savannah Fire and Emergency Services Chief Charles Middleton said Savannah is just realizing the amount of hazardous materials now traveling through the city on any given day and presented their early findings to the City Council last week.

Middleton's findings represent 33 percent so far and that they still have a lot more information to gather. He said he still doesn't know enough about the LNG proposal. He said he has not had an opportunity to look at models and that it is yet to come.

Harrington said he thinks the Citizens for a Safe and Secure Savannah can work on getting the right questions to be answered by El Paso officials and educate everyone, even city leaders on making the right choice for the city.

The Citizens for a Safe and Secure Savannah will begin meeting after the first of the year. The city and El Paso officials will be back in Savannah to meet with the federal energy regulatory commission in February.

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