In 2005, AES Corporation, an international energy company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, proposed the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal that would have the potential to transmit 1.4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas through an 86 mile pipeline to a connection point in Eagle, Pennsylvania. EcoLogix Group was engaged to help AES communicate with local residential, environmental and maritime stakeholders.
The LNG project was challenging: the project footprint was near a residential area and adjacent to an active steel mill; the pipeline component relied on existing rights-of-way and crossed numerous sensitive habitat areas; and the project was introduced in an election cycle and immediately became an emotionally charged political issue. EcoLogix Group worked to provide stakeholders with sources of independent information, arranged for community members to visit other AES power generation facilities, and arranged for visits to a competitor firm's active LNG import terminal.
Ongoing debate about the project's merits, the environmental impacts from dredging large quantities of contaminated sediments from Baltimore Harbor and safety considerations ensured that opinion remained divided. The project was generally supported by Maryland's business community, not opposed by most environmental groups and vehemently opposed by local communities and elected officials. Through its role, EcoLogix Group was able to comprehensively identify issues of concern in a timely way, which allowed AES to adequately address each of the issues in the Environmental Impact Statement.
During this multi-year process, EcoLogix Group ensured that community members and other stakeholders had access to an abundance of information as well as access to AES project officials. In addition, EcoLogix Group ensured that international experts were available to meet with community members to discuss their concerns. While AES received a Certificate to Construct from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2009, the company ultimately requested that FERC vacate the 2009 order, withdrawing its application in 2013 in response to changing market conditions.