Coast Guard Releases Bradwood LNG Waterway Suitability Report


PORTLAND, Ore. – The Coast Guard has completed a review of the Waterway Suitability Assessment for the Bradwood Landing Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG) Terminal project submitted by Northern Star Natural Gas, LLC. The Coast Guard received official notification of Northern Star Natural Gas LLC’s proposal to build an LNG terminal in Bradwood, Ore., at mile 38 on the Columbia River, January 18, 2005. Since 2005, personnel from Coast Guard Sector Portland have worked with the applicant, port and community stakeholders and state and local emergency response providers to assess the safety and security issues associated with LNG tankers traveling on the Columbia River. Based upon this review the Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector Portland, recommended to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that in order to make the Columbia River suitable for the type and frequency of LNG marine traffic associated with this project, additional measures will be necessary to responsibly manage the navigation, safety and security risks. The specific measures and the resources needed are documented in a Waterway Suitability Report submitted to the FERC.

The next step for the Coast Guard is to 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 Coast Guard will continue to work with the FERC, the applicant and emergency response providers 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 on the Columbia River,” said Patrick G. Gerrity, Coast Guard Captain of the Port Sector 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.”

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), 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.

If licensed by FERC, Northern Star Natural Gas LLC will be required to submit an Emergency Response Plan that identifies the resources necessary to fill the gaps identified in the Waterway Suitability Report and document cost sharing arrangements between the applicant and the effected communities for project related expenses.

The Waterway Suitability Report and related documentation is available through the Coast Guard’s Home Port web site or Sector Portland’s web page. Many of these documents will also be available through the FERCs E-Library.

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