Coast Guard releases Jordan Cove LNG Waterway Suitability Report

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Coast Guard completed a review of the Waterway Suitability Assessment for the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal project submitted by Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P. Tuesday.

On April 11, 2006 the Coast Guard received official notification of the company’s proposal to build an LNG terminal in Coos Bay, Ore. Over the last two years Coast Guard Sector Portland personnel worked with the applicant, state and local emergency response providers, as well as port and community stakeholders to assess the safety and security issues associated with LNG tankers traveling into Coos Bay.

Based upon this review the Captain of the Port (COTP) recommended, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), that additional measures will be necessary to responsibly manage the navigation, safety and security risks associated with this project.

The specific measures and the resources needed are documented in a Waterway Suitability Report submitted to the FERC.

The Coast Guard will continue working with the FERC on the development of an Environmental Impact Statement that addresses the effects of the proposed safety and security measures all along the waterway. Additionally, the applicant, Coast Guard, FERC and emergency response providers will work together to develop an Emergency Response Plan that addresses the gaps identified in the Waterway Suitability Report.

“We are working with local officials and the Port Community to ensure that every measure is taken to ensure the excellent safety record of the marine transport of LNG is continued if an LNG terminal is built in Coos Bay,” said Frederick G. Myer, Coast Guard Captain of the Port at Portland. “At this point there are significant resource gaps at the local, state and federal level for supporting this type of development; however, we are working together to make sure that these gaps are identified and any resource issues are resolved through the Emergency Response Planning Process.”

When asked about potential recreational and commercial fishing vessel traffic delays due to the LNG project, Captain Myer responded, “The Coast Guard is not going to shut down Coos Bay. With a narrow channel and a variety of users throughout the bay, one of our biggest concerns was making sure that we kept LNG traffic safe and secure while keeping other vessels moving. By working with a broad cross section of port stakeholders, we identified existing best practices that can be used to control vessel traffic for both safety and security, while minimizing any delays.”

FERC is responsible for authorizing the siting, construction, and operation of onshore LNG facilities. Once FERC completes their review of an application for an LNG facility it is required to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In the EIS FERC evaluates issues ranging from biological to socioeconomic and security impacts. The Coast Guard will serve as a cooperating agency for FERC’s Environmental Impact Statement.

If licensed by FERC, Jordan Cove Energy Project, LP will be required to submit an Emergency Response Plan that identifies the resources necessary to fill the gaps identified in the Waterway Suitability Report. The applicant will also have to document its cost sharing arrangements with the affected communities for project related expenses.

The Waterway Suitability Report and related documentation is available through the Coast Guard’s Home Port web site. The user is directed to select “Jordan Cove Energy Project” from the bottom of the linked page. Many of these documents will also be available through the FERCs E-Library at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp.

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