Coast Guard to evaluate Dominion Cove Point modification project

BALTIMORE (D5 Public Affairs) – The Coast Guard is evaluating safety and security issues associated with proposed construction to Dominion Cove Point’s offshore unloading platform.

Dominion Cove Point submitted a letter of intent to initiate a construction project to upgrade and modify its existing offshore unloading platform to accommodate larger liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessel mooring and offloading activities. The Coast Guard will evaluate the safety and security issues associated with the project in order to make a recommendation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding Dominion Cove Point’s proposal to conduct the upgrade and reinforcement.

The Coast Guard received official notification of Cove Point’s plans May 5, 2008.

“As in the past, we will work very closely with local officials and the Area Maritime Security Committees in both the Virginia and Maryland sections of the Chesapeake Bay in evaluating this proposal,” said Captain Brian Kelley, the captain of the port at Baltimore, MD. Comments from the public can be made as outlined in the Notice of Interest anticipated in the next few days and referencing docket number PF08-20-600 to ensure the Coast Guard considers the full range of issues associated with the project. For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments. In all instances please reference the FERC’s project docket number PF08-20-000 with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has dedicated eFiling expert staff available to assist you at 202-502-8258 or efiling@ferc.gov. All filed comments will be posted to the FERC’s public record.

* (1) You may file your comments electronically by using the Quick Comment feature, which is located on the Commission’s internet website at http://www.ferc.gov/ under the link to Documents and Filings. A Quick Comment is an easy method for interested persons to submit text-only comments on a project;
* (2) You may file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature, which is located on the Commission’s internet website at http://www.ferc.gov/ under the link to Documents and Filings. eFiling involves preparing your submission in the same manner as you would if filing on paper, and then saving the file on your computer’s hard drive. You will attach that file as your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “Sign up” or “eRegister.” You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making. A comment on a particular project is considered a “Comment on a Filing;” or
* (3) You may file your comments via mail to the Commission by sending an original and two copies of your letter to:

Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First St., NE, Room 1A
Washington, DC 20426

Label one copy of the comments for the attention of Gas Branch 3, PJ11.3.

FERC is responsible for authorizing the site, 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, biological impacts, cultural and socioeconomic impacts and safety and security impacts. The Coast Guard will serve as a cooperating agency for FERC’s EIS.

Cove Point will provide the Coast Guard with a safety and security assessment that identifies any navigational safety hazards as well as potential security threats, along with recommended 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. Key stakeholders at the port, such as the Area Maritime Security Committee, will submit input on the assessment to the Coast Guard for review. Based on this input, the Coast Guard Captains of the Port in Baltimore, MD, and Hampton Roads, VA, will evaluate the suitability of the proposed project and provide their findings to FERC for inclusion in its EIS.

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