USCG to Evaluate LNG suitability of Columbia River

Tuesday, September 06, 2005
The Coast Guard received official notification of Northern Star Natural Gas LLC’s plans on January 18, 2005. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Portland will assess safety and security issues associated with liquefied natural gas tankers traveling on the Columbia River in order to make a recommendation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding Northern Star Natural Gas LLC’s proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Bradwood, Oregon at Columbia River mile 38.

“We plan to work very closely with local officials, our Ports and Waterways Safety Committee and the Area Maritime Security Committee in evaluating this proposal,” said Patrick G. Gerrity, Coast Guard Captain of the Port at Portland, OR. “We will also be looking for comments from the general public to ensure we have considered the full range of issues associated with moving LNG tankers on the Columbia River.”

FERC is responsible for authorizing the siting, construction, and operation of onshore LNG facilities. Once FERC receives an application for an LNG facility, it is required to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), evaluating issues ranging from air quality and biological impacts, to cultural and socioeconomic impacts, as well as safety and security impacts. The Coast Guard will serve as a cooperating agency for FERC’s Environmental Impact Statement. Northern Star Natural Gas LLC will provide the Coast Guard with a safety and security assessment that identifies any navigational safety hazards. They will also give potential safety threats along with any recommendations on any mitigation measures and the resources (federal, state, local and private sector) that will be needed to provide an acceptable level of safety and security for the proposed LNG operations. This assessment will be submitted to the Coast Guard so that it can be reviewed and validated by key stakeholders at the port, such as the Area Maritime Security Committee. Based on this assessment, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port will evaluate the suitability of the waterway for LNG marine traffic and provide his or her findings to FERC for inclusion in its EIS. The Coast Guard and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold public meetings at Knappa High School on September 29, 2005. Written comments should be submitted by October 6, 2005. Further information on this proposal can be found in the Federal Register under docket number CGD13-05-017.

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