Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for LNG Facilities

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Coast Guard announced the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the regulations governing waterfront facilities that handle liquefied natural gas and liquefied hazardous gas, 33 Code of Federal Regulations part 127.

The proposed modifications would affect the process for the submittal of Letters of Intent by owners/operators, as well as issuance of Letters of Recommendation by the Coast Guard Captains of the Port.

Under the proposed rule, when an owner/operator proposing to build or modify a liquefied natural gas/liquefied hazardous gas facility submits a Letter of Intent to the Captain of the Port, the owner/operator would be required to conduct a Waterway Suitability Assessment for liquefied natural gas/liquefied hazardous gas marine traffic.

After the Captain of the Port receives the Letter of Intent and reviews the Waterway Suitability Assessment under 33 Code of Federal Regulations part 127, the proposed rule would require the Captain of the Port to issue a Letter of Recommendation to the federal, state and/or local agencies that have jurisdiction to permit and approve the facility. The Letter of Recommendation conveys to the final approving authority the Coast Guard's recommendation regarding the waterway's suitability for liquefied natural gas/ liquefied hazardous gas marine traffic.

These proposed revisions would update the regulations to require what are currently voluntary industry practices and Coast Guard activities. These revisions will also align the Coast Guard's regulations for liquefied natural gas with those established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Coast Guard encourages the public to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials to the docket at www.regulations.gov, docket number: USCG-2007-27022. All comments received will be posted without change.

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