City of Savannah requests denial for LNG trucking proposal

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - For more than a year, El Paso Energy and Southern LNG have been trying to convince the City of Savannah their plan to truck liquefied natural gas through the city was a safe plan.

City officials, still not convinced, have taken the next step in a plea to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who will make the final decision.

Savannah City Council approved a resolution Thursday afternoon telling the F.E.R.C. they do not want large quantities of LNG being transported on the streets of Savannah.

The plan to expand the Elba Island LNG terminal was first proposed last year and Southern LNG had hoped to have the application approved by February, but the city, including fire chief Charles Middleton, has delayed the process because of their fears of the unknown.

A consultant was hired, experts were brought in, studies were done and a fact-finding mission was underway since late last year. The questions the city wanted answers for, from Southern LNG, they say have still not been answered.

"In the end, council decided the risks associated with this kind of operation far outweighed the benefits to the community, so they are urging the F.E.R.C. to deny the application to truck LNG through the city," Bret Bell, Savannah city spokesman, told WTOC.

Last month, the city invited the attorney general from Rhode Island to speak to council members. In Rhode Island, the City of Providence successfully blocked a similar plan to truck LNG.

There is no word yet on how long it could take for a response from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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