Work group meetings commence to discuss LNG proposal

WOODS HOLE, Mass., – Coast Guard representatives Tuesday in Fall River, Mass., hosted the first of two navigation safety-focused work group meetings with partner agencies and local navigational experts to review and validate the waterway suitability assessment submitted in January by Weaver’s Cove Energy, LLC.

The current plan proposes to build a marine berth and transfer pipeline in Mt. Hope Bay and the Taunton River for the importation of LNG by ship.

Topics reviewed during the meeting, which was held under the auspices of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Port Safety and Security Forum, include:

· Navigation safety associated with the proposed transit of LNG tankers through Narragansett Bay

· Potential navigation impact of LNG transits on commercial and recreational fishing and boating traffic

· Possible effects on anchorages and bridges along the transit route

· An assessment of current buoy and channel marker positions

Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England plans to hold one additional meeting on navigation safety under the auspices of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Port Safety and Security Forum.

Additionally, the sector will host two closed meetings on the security of the LNG vessels, the pipeline, and marine transportation portion of the facility, under the auspices of the Southeast New England Area Maritime Security Committee, to discuss the potential impact of the proposed facility.

The meeting participants include a cross section of waterway users and officials responsible for safety and security from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the State of Rhode Island, and the local communities in the area.

“As the captain of the port, these working group meetings assist me in my development of the Coast Guard’s letter of recommendation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as to the suitability of the waterway to accommodate the safe and secure transport of LNG,” said Coast Guard Capt. Raymond J. Perry.

The Coast Guard is responsible for making recommendations to FERC, the lead agency in the permitting process, as to the suitability of the waterway for LNG traffic.

While the meetings are not public hearings, opportunity for public comment on Weaver’s Cove, LLC’s waterway suitability assessment, the Coast Guard’s recommendation to FERC and FERC’s environmental analysis of the project will be provided by FERC in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

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