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Lease for Hazardous Facility Kept from Public

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  1. Freedom of Information
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Astoria is the first deep draft port in the Columbia River and for the past three months, port officials have kept secret the lease of 96 acres for a half billion dollar project to build a terminal for Liquefied Natural Gas. The secrecy and haste which the project proceeded is being justified by competition. At least two other LNG terminal sites are being considered and the Federal Ene4rgy Regulatory Commission is likely to approve only one. Why might residents been interested in knowing before the deal was signed? LNG tankers pose such safety risks that in Boston Harbor, all maritime traffic is cleared for two miles ahead and 1000 yards to the side, the bridge is closed and aircraft are barred from the vicinity. (1/28/05)