DNREC Denies BP's Crown Landing Proposed LNG Pier

Monday, February 07, 2005

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary John A. Hughes has determined that the proposed LNG off-loading pier in the Delaware River is prohibited by the State’s Coastal Zone Act. The decision is in response to the Dec. 7, 2004 application of Crown Landing LLC to ascertain if a new pier facility to transfer liquefied natural gas (LNG) from ships in the Delaware River to storage tanks in New Jersey is allowable under the Coastal Zone Act.

In his letter of decision to the company, Secretary Hughes writes that his decision “does not come without some appreciation of the need for additional natural gas supplies in this country nor the relative cleanliness of natural gas compared to other energy fuels.” However, he finds that despite the possible benefits, under the Act, the proposed facility “represents a prohibited offshore bulk product transfer facility” with no accompanying manufacturing use that would meet the exemption definition. In addition, he concludes that as proposed, the facility “exhibits characteristics sufficient to deem it a heavy industry,” which is also prohibited under the Act.

Crown Landing LLC, a subsidiary of BP, proposed an LNG facility with a docking site that lies within Delaware’s Coastal Zone. The facility would occupy 19 acres in the Delaware River for a 2000 foot pier with one ship berth. The pier could accommodate LNG carriers from 138,000 cubic meters to 200,000 cubic meters in capacity. The pier would have one 44-inch diameter liquid unloading line to the storage tanks. The pier would convey the LNG to a storage and regassification facility on 40 acres in Logan Township, N.J. where existing gas pipelines would convey the gas to customers in the region.

A 14-day appeal period follows the Feb. 6, 2005 date of publication of the legal notice of this decision. Appeals must be filed to the State Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board. Appeal forms may be acquired by calling Dennis Brown, DNREC Planning and Compliance Assistance, (302) 739-3091. The appeal fee is $100.

(HK LAW)

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