WHY FALL RIVER?
Fall River is a city of approximately 92,000 people, located in southeastern Massachusetts at the juncture of the Taunton River and the Mount Hope Bay. The city has a rich industrial past, and was one of the great textile manufacturing centers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Immigrant populations streamed into the city to work in the booming textile industry, creating a rich diversity of cultures. By the mid-twentieth century, the textile industry had begun a rapid decline, losing businesses to competitors in the south and overseas. Since that time, the city has struggled to diversify its economy and balance manufacturing, industrial and service sector employment.
The 73-acre site - historically known as Weaver's Cove - is two miles north of Battleship Cove on the eastern bank of the Taunton River (See figure below). The location has the attributes required for development as an LNG terminal - deepwater access for the ocean-going tankers, sufficient land area to allow the required protection for the surrounding community, close to the pipeline grid, and appropriate (Industrial) zoning.
The proposed LNG Terminal is on a navigable stretch of deep water in the Taunton River, as well as being located near a natural gas transmission pipeline. Perhaps most importantly, the proposed site can only be used for industrial development because it is zoned for "marine industrial use" under the Massachusetts Coastal Zone regulations. Most recently, the site has housed a marine oil terminal. Now the site has more than a half-dozen unused oil-storage tanks, which will be removed prior to constructing the new terminal. Currently, the site is being used as a construction staging area for the new Brightman Street Bridge. The property is designated as a "brownfield" site due to ground contamination dating back some 80 years, beginning when an oil refinery was located there. This designation restricts the kind of development that can take place on the site to industrial and some commercial uses. While the site is currently undergoing environmental remediation, this process will take decades to complete. Another attribute is that the site is located directly off an interstate highway system, which enables truck traffic to avoid local neighborhoods. The LNG Terminal will bring new development appropriate to the site without disrupting ongoing remediation.
We also plan to dredge the existing Taunton River Channel (Federal Shipping Channel) to restore it to its original permitted depth, which will benefit the other users of the Channel as well as the Port of Fall River. This will be done at our expense rather than at taxpayer cost.