The Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island (EJLRI) has revealed that the “Public Participation Plan” that National Grid submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) contains no actual community groups in its listing of “Environmental, Community and Neighborhood stakeholders.” The two groups that National Grid did included on the list, the South Providence Neighborhood Association and the Washington Park Neighborhood Association, don’t actually exist. Further, EJLRI points out that “dangerous oil and chemical facilities like Motiva, Univar, and Sprague Energy are counted as community partners.”
The nonexistent groups were listed with FERC as part of National Grid’s plan to build a LNG liquefaction system at the Fields Point LNG Plant on Providence’s South Side. The EJLRI and many other environmental and community groups oppose the expansion. The location of the Fields Point Plant, adjacent to low income communities of color, is seen as environmental racism. And investing in methane gas, which has been revealed to be worse for the environment than coal and oil, seems economically and environmentally catastrophic given the reality of global warming.
David Graves, who does media relations for National Grid, responded that, “The stakeholder list was first developed when both of these groups were active in the neighborhood. The list continues to evolve and contacts for various organizations have been, and will continue to be updated. We have not been successful in locating any other neighborhood groups in the area that have an organized board of directors or a published list of officers and, to my knowledge, we have not been contacted by any neighborhood groups asking to be included in the list of stakeholders. Despite that, our efforts will continue.”
Said the EJLRI, “…there are hundreds of thriving organizations in South Providence and Washington Park.”