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LNG permit hearings to continue March 21

SALEM – The permitting process for the off-shore liquid natural gas terminal goes on.Wednesday, March 21, the state Department of Environmental Protection will hold a hearing on a proposed state Waterways license for a natural gas pipeline for the Suez Neptune LNG terminal slated to be installed about 12 miles off the North Shore, including Salem, Beverly, Marblehead and Manchester-by-the-Sea.The hearing will be held at the Salem Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty St., Salem, at 6 p.m. The deadline for written comments is April 11.In his last week in the State House, former Gov. Mitt Romney signed approvals for Suez Neptune and its sister project, the Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge and Algonquin Gas Transmission proposed pipeline and deepwater port 11.7 miles off Marblehead Neck, one of its closest shoreline points.Marblehead selectmen plan to submit a letter questioning the pipeline construction, at the urging of Selectman Judy Jacobi. Selectmen Chairman Harry Christensen suggested that she hand-deliver it.Previous opposition has been from Nahant residents and members of Safer Waters In Massachusetts (SWIM), and other North Shore environmentalists. Nahant resident Nancy Smith spoke at a previous hearing last fall, stating her fears for endangered species like the North Atlantic Right Whale, that use the Neptune site for feeding and breeding, and the Massachusetts fishermen who will lose another fishing area. She also called on the pipeline builders to avoid an area once used for the dumping of radioactive waste and requested a coastal development plan for Massachusetts.

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