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    LNG Project Proponent SES Seeks Court Writ Of Mandate Directing Port of LB To Resume & Complete EIR...And Separately Submits Damage Claim Letter To City Clerk/PoLB

    (Feb. 8, 2007, initial post from breaking) -- Sound Energy Solutions (SES), which seeks to build and operate an 80+ million gallon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in the Port of LB (PoLB), today (Feb. 8) filed a Petition for Writ of Mandate asking a state court to order LB's Board of Harbor Commissioners to resume and complete the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) regarding the proposed LNG facility.

    In addition, SES separately delivered a Damage Claim letter to LB's City Clerk and Port of LB (PoLB) Executive Dir. Steinke, contending PoLB's Jan. 22, 2007 "disapproval" of the LNG project (Harbor Comm' action halting the EIR) breached SES' May 2003 agreement with PoLB and the covenant of good faith/fair dealing implicit in all CA contracts...and also violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [federal civil action for deprivation of rights].

    The Damage Claim letter states in part, "SES invested more than $80 million analyzing and evaluating the LNG project, performing necessary studies and assessments [enumerates additional]...Among other damages, SES is entitled to recover all amounts it incurred in connection with the LNG project. SES is alternatively entitled to seek specific performance of the [May 2003 agreement with the Port of LB]."

    To view the SES Damage Claim letter in its entirety, click here.

    With respect to the Superior Court-filed Petition for Writ of Mandate, SES CEO Tom Giles said in a release:

    "The Harbor Commission wrongly curtailed an established environmental process that is designed to objectively evaluate the project on a comprehensive basis and provide the facts to government agencies and the public so they can make an informed decision" and the firm's "overriding objective is for the Harbor Commission to direct the Port of Long Beach staff to complete the environmental review process as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)."

    SES COO Rick Hernandez says in the release that the Harbor Commission's action "sets a precedent that has statewide implications which, without the courtís clarification, deprives an applicant of the certainty and finality in the permitting process. It suggests that at any time during the environmental review process, a project applicant may be at risk of having its project abandoned at any moment."

    Mr. Hernandez added that the court action "will ensure that the public, the Long Beach City Council and other decision-makers are fully informed about the significant clean air benefits, energy supply, security and safety aspects, good-paying jobs, and more than a half of billion dollars in new revenue that this project would bring to the city."

    The LB City Attorney's office indicated it hadn't yet reviewed the court filing and the claim letter and isn't commenting at this time.

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