PSC to Dominion: Can You Do Better at Reducing Emissions?

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (December 6, 2017)—The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) wants to know if Dominion Energy can do a better job of controlling emissions at its Cove Point Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Plant in Lusby. In the case involving Dominion's request to amend its previous approvals to allow a ten-fold increase in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), the state agency has asked that the company supply answers to three questions by Dec. 5.

One of the questions is: "What additional measures could the company implement to reduce the project-wide emissions from the Liquefaction Facility in a localized meaningful way, e.g. electrification of all or a substantial portion of the company's facility-related vehicle fleet, integration of solar and other renewable energy sources, etc."

The PSC also wants to know if Dominion can reduce emissions by "adding flare gas vapor recovery to the North and South Flares to reduce VOCs being flared during plant restarts and ship cool-down." Several other technical suggestions are also made to the company.

In two additional questions, the PSC members want to know more about plans for monitoring and whether the results will be available to the public, and more information about two additional proposed combustion turbines.

On Nov. 13, Dominion received final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to "export by vessels the volumes of produced liquified natural gas related to commissioning activities for the Cove Point Liquefaction Project."

The PSC held a public hearing on the plan modification on Nov. 15 in Baltimore. A spokesperson for the commission told The County Times they normally do not make decisions in an open meeting but instead just issue orders. The request for additional information by PSC members is an indication they are not yet ready to make that decision.

For more local stories from the County Times newspapers, visit or find a copy on local news stands.

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