The U.S. Coast Guard said it is reopening the public comment period on a petition from the City of Fall River, MA, asking for regulations establishing thermal and vapor dispersion exclusion zones for marine spills of liquefied natural gas (LNG), similar to Department of Transportation regulations for such spills on land.
The comment period was reopened in response to a request by the Attorney General of Rhode Island that a recent report by Richard Clarke on the dangers of LNG be included in the docket (see Daily GPI, May 12).
Clarke’s report, “LNG Facilities in Urban Areas,” examines the safety and security risks of urban LNG terminals, in particular the Fall River terminal proposed by Weaver’s Cove, a partnership between Poten & Partners and Amerada Hess, as well as the Providence LNG terminal, proposed by KeySpan and BG Group. The report paints a grim picture of what could happen if an LNG tanker was successfully targeted. Clarke estimated a total casualty figure of 10,000-30,000 in the Providence area.
The Coast Guard said it will consider the city’s petition, any comments received from the public, and other information to determine whether or not to initiate the requested rulemaking. Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management Facility on or before Aug. 22. The Coast Guard docket number is USCG-2004-19615. The web site is https://dms.dot.gov. For further information contact Commander John Cushing at (202) 267-1043 or JCushing@comdt.uscg.mil.
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