From: Associated Press
Published January 19, 2005 12:00 AM

Environmentalists Fight Planned Gas Terminal in Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Greenpeace Mexico on Tuesday announced new efforts to block plans for a liquefied natural gas import terminal off of Mexico's Pacific coast near the U.S. border.

U.S. energy giant ChevronTexaco Corp. already has the main federal approvals necessary for the proposed terminal off the coast of Tijuana near the Coronado Islands.

Greenpeace and the Mexican Environmental Law Center announced at a news conference on Tuesday that they are seeking to nullify the Environment Department's authorization.

The law center has helped five environmental and civic groups file legal complaints against the authorization, arguing that the Environment Department failed to gather sufficient scientific information about impacts on the Coronado Islands, an isolated bird nesting area uninhabited by humans.

Contacted Tuesday, representatives for ChevronTexaco and the Environment Department did not immediately comment.


The proposed terminal would be several hundred meters (yards) from the islands and more than 13 kilometers (eight miles) from shore.

Greenpeace representatives said they fear light from the terminal and other potential pollution could harm the wildlife on the islands.

The Coronado Islands shelter the Xantus' murrelet, a small black-and-white seabird whose population is estimated to be less than 10,000 and which only breeds off the northwest coast of Baja California.

Arturo Moreno of Greenpeace Mexico said the Environment Department has failed to properly catalog plants and wildlife at the islands, though its land protection division has recommended greater conservation efforts there.

Liquefied natural gas has been cooled and condensed into a liquid form for transportation. At receiving terminals, liquefied gas is unloaded from ships and stored until it can be converted back into a gaseous form and delivered via pipeline to customers.

San Diego-based Sempra Energy also is planning a liquefied plant off the Baja California coast about 23 kilometers (14 miles) north of Ensenada, and already has awarded construction contracts.

Source: Associated Press

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