ALANA HERNANDEZ | STAFF WRITER
PORT ISABEL — A public comment session led by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Thursday in Port Isabel highlights the remaining window of opportunity the public has to submit input on Annova LNG’s proposed Brownsville Project.
FERC recently issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement, which addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of Annova LNG’s proposed project, and personnel want to hear from the community to address comments in its final EIS that will be issued in April.
“We want to understand what the local concerns are and what they think about the document we have issued,” said FERC Project Manager for the Annova LNG Brownsville Project Eric Tomasi. “Ultimately, we do our job better if we get more information from local people. I work in D.C. I can never know this area as well as the people who live here. So it’s really important to know their concerns and understand how this project is going to affect them and their family.”
Save RGV from LNG members gathered across the street of the comment session held in the Port Isabel Event and Cultural Center, equipped with a variety of signs and information packets to inform local community members about their concerns with the proposed project.
As several drivers traveled through the area, some honked their horn in support of the anti-LNG groups’ efforts while others pulled over to the curb for more information.
“We’ve been working on protests and informational meetings for four years now because we’re very passionate about the area,” said Save RGV from LNG member Patrick Anderson, from Los Fresnos. “We’ve learned that these proposed projects would be very detrimental to our local environment, our economy and climate change.”
Annova LNG Communications Manager Christina Pratt said the company understands there are concerns about developments in the area and that it’s going above and beyond to have as little impact on the environment as possible.
“We want to be a good partner to the community and plan to be here a very long time so we’re glad to see so many people engaged,” Pratt said. “Everyone might not agree with us, but we want to hear from the community and talk to them about all the good we’re doing.”
The formal draft EIS comment period is open until 5 p.m. eastern time on Feb. 4. Written comments can be mailed or submitted electronically using the eComment or eFiling features on www.ferc.gov.