Three liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals were proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay, a rural region that includes many towns and villages in Maine, the Province of New Brunswick, and the Passamaquoddy Tribe. Community members came together to form Save Passamaquoddy Bay and turned to Yellow Wood Associates for a balanced assessment of the potential economic and fiscal impacts of LNG import terminals. While other studies focused on statewide impacts of specific LNG terminals, this study identified specific impacts likely to accrue to host communities, communities near LNG facilities, and communities in the path of, or otherwise affected by, LNG ships and/or pipelines. Save Passamaquoddy Bay clearly understood that one or more LNG import terminals anywhere within the target area would have impacts beyond the host community.
Yellow Wood defined the economic impacts (on income, employment, assets, livelihood, and development choices) and fiscal impacts (on the costs and revenues associated with government), then developed a detailed description of a generic LNG import terminal based on the three applications. We identified impact pathways related to economic and fiscal conditions. Economic models tend to distort impacts on rural areas, so we used a combination of primary and secondary data collection and analysis to understand and describe likely tangible impacts. Employment impacts assessed the match between actual skills and employment status of target area residents and the skills required for construction and operation of LNG terminals. We compared the capacities and experience of construction and related supply firms in the State of Maine to the requirements of LNG terminal construction and the types of firms typically brought in to fulfill those requirements. From transportation to health and safety to property values, each impact was analyzed based on historic and existing conditions and research conducted in comparable settings. Yellow Wood provided a written report, testimony, and a slide presentation to the State of Maine LNG Working Group.
Applications for two of the three LNG import terminals proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay have been rejected and the third is still being challenged. Some members of Save Passamaquoddy Bay have formed a new nonprofit to focus on the desired future of the region.
Save Passamaquoddy Bay (www.savepassamaquoddybay.org) is a three nation alliance to protect the Quoddy Region from LNG development.
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