Town of Palm Beach News

Emera Energy Plans To Use Port of Palm Beach

You might have thought that the widening and deepening of the inlet at the Port of Palm Beach would be the last of Town of Palm Beach worries, but another project has been presented to the Town. The Save Our Inlet Coalition, headed by Bobbie Lindsay, who recently went unopposed in her bid for Town of Palm Beach Town Council prevented a project just a year ago, but that obviously has not stopped others from trying.

The United States Department of Energy just approved Emera, an energy company out of Canada, to retract natural gas from the coast. Emera’s plan is to draw compressed natural gas from Riviera Beach all the way to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island and decompress it at Grand Bahama Power Company.

While the federal government has approved the plans, local governments are hesitant to issue permits.

The Town of Palm Beach Mayor, Gail Conliglio told us that her specific concerns involve, “the safety of the Palm Beach public as well as the neighboring Lagoon municipalities.” She also added, “We are protective of the Inlet and Lagoon environment and its related recreational amenities potentially affected by the CNG ship traffic traversing from the port through the Inlet.”

Emera Energy Plans To Use Port of Palm Beach

Coniglio said that residents are concerned about safety as well.

The Mayor and other town staff have stayed as involved with the process as possible. The Mayor has participated in meetings with Emera, Save Our Inlet Coalition, and Palm Beach Civic Association. Other town staff “provided written comments to the DOE during the comment period for the environmental assessment process.”  Most recently, Mayor Coniglio wrote a letter to the Port expressing concerns about the CNG facility.

Emera and the Port have said that the Compressed Natural Gas operation could create local jobs and potentially reduce power costs for the Bahamas while simultaneously lowering the production of air pollution by the Bahamian power plant.

However, concerns are still being voiced by the Town of Palm Beach and neighboring municipalities. Mayor Gail Conliglio says the potential amount of alterations on the local environment by the facility cannot be known for sure but, “we want to ensure that it has little or no impact on the Palm Beach environment.”

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Jess specializes in local news coverage. She is a hands on reporter attending every event and meeting she can in the community.

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