A security tape showing two people cutting a fence to scale a storage tank at KeySpan Corp’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility in Lynn, MA, last week has sparked a number of investigations at the local and state level, even though the incident appears to be an act of vandalism rather than terrorism, a company spokeswoman said.
“State authorities characterize it as vandalism, not terrorism,” and “our investigation supports that determination as well,” KeySpan’s Carmen Fields told NGI Wednesday. She could not say whether the alleged vandals were youngsters. But Fields, who said she had not seen the security tape, noted “that’s the impression that I’ve been given.”
There was no damage to the facility, which houses one storage tank with a capacity of 1 Bcf of fuel, and it is fully operational, she said. “We’re aware of the breach and we’ve notified all the proper officials.”
The Associated Press, however, reported that it took KeySpan five days to report the breach to authorities. The breach occurred on Aug. 16 and KeySpan did not notify state officials until Monday, Mike Coelho, chief of staff with the state Executive Office of Public Safety, told AP. “That’s less than ideal…We’re not happy about it.” NGI’s efforts to reach Coelho were unsuccessful Wednesday.
Fields declined to comment on the five-day lag in reporting the incident.
Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) said the “incident raises serious questions about the adequacy of the perimeter security and surveillance monitoring in place at this facility.” While he hopes the investigations by the Lynn Police Department and the State Police Anti-Terror Unit will show that the incident was not related to terrorism, Markey said, “The stakes are too high to simply warn people to do better next time.”
He called on Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to order a comprehensive review of the perimeter security plans at all critical infrastructure facilities in the state to guarantee a future security breach does not occur.
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