Coast Guard denies Weaver’s Cove appeal

BOSTON – The First Coast Guard District Commander denied an appeal today filed by Weaver’s Cove Energy regarding the Captain of the Port for Southeastern New England’s determination that the waterway to their proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Fall River, Mass., was unsuitable for LNG tankers.

Weaver’s Cove Energy requested that Rear Adm. Timothy Sullivan reconsider the decision made by Coast Guard Capt. Roy Nash, the Captain of the Port at the time, that the channel from Prudence Island, R.I., to the proposed site was unsafe due to navigational hazards.

Nash based his decision primarily on navigation safety issues of large tankers between the old and new Brightman Street Bridges over the Taunton River, between the cities of Fall River and Somerset, Mass. Tankers would have to transit between the bridges to reach the Weaver’s Cove Energy facility.

Nash concluded that transits could not be safely conducted on a routine, repeatable basis, and that the risk of a casualty was “unacceptably high.”

Weaver’s Cove Energy requested that Nash reconsider his assessment. That request was denied in December 2007. Weaver’s Cove Energy then filed their appeal with Rear Adm. Timothy Sullivan, the Commander for the First Coast Guard District, in January 2008.

“After thorough review of the detailed appeal by Weaver’s Cove Energy, I support Captain Nash’s decision that the waterway is unsafe in the vicinity of the Brightman Street Bridges for the transit of LNG tankers because of the same navigational hazards previously addressed,” said Sullivan.

Weaver’s Cove Energy may appeal Sullivan’s decision to Rear Adm. Brian Salerno, the Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship in Washington, D.C.

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