By John Zangas
A Cove Point resident was arrested at dawn on Monday, November 10 while trying to deliver a “people’s eviction notice” at Dominion Resources’ construction site at Solomons, Maryland. The construction is connected to Cove Point, a $3.8 billion Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminal. It was the third protest at the site in 10 days.
As about fifty fellow protestors picketed in front of the site, Leslie Garcia carried a giant eviction notice across a line of pylons placed by police. “Everything is at stake. I have everything to lose. That’s why I’m protesting. We all have everything to lose,” she said.
Garcia has lived 34 years in her home just three houses down from the Cove Point lighthouse, a mile past Dominion’s gated facility. She fears an explosion would leave her and her neighbors no way to evacuate safely. That’s because the only way out of their neighborhood is right past the refinery.
“People are very concerned about the damaging effect on the air, the water and a possible chemical explosion,” said her attorney Mark Goldstein. “It would create a terrific fireball, which would kill all the residents within a couple of square miles.”
Many Cove Point residents believe they’ve done everything legally possible to stop Dominion from moving forward.
They’ve testified at hearings, researched its dangers, reached out to the County Commission and Maryland State Legislature, and protested at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency which permitted Cove Point.
“We’ve been pushed into civil disobedience and direct action because we’re out of legal options, and we can’t let this plant be built,” said Kelly Canavan, president of AMP Creeks Council. Canavan said that building the pier is the first step in a “dirty project” that will have adverse effects “not only on the residents of Cove Point, but on people up and down the Mid-Atlantic” region.
Once the pier is completed, Dominion plans to ship large machinery and equipment by way of the Chesapeske Bay, offload them at the pier, and truck them to the main site. Monday’s protest was the third at the pier site on the Chesapeake since construction began.