Proceedings Of The Marine

FALL 2015

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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27 Fall 2015 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff mem- bers work to identify stakeholders that may be interested in or impacted by the project. The intent is to involve these stakeholders in discussing any project-specifc issues that constructing and operating the facility may create. Poten- tial issues can be resolved more easily by engaging these stakeholders before the project design is frmly set. One of the principal stakeholders that the commission works with during this review phase is the local Coast Guard cap- tain of the port. While FERC does not have any authority to regulate ship transits to LNG terminals, the commis- sion must consider whether the Coast Guard believes the waterway to be safe for these ship transits associated with a terminal. 3 Additionally, Coast Guard and FERC regulations require applicants to submit a letter of intent and a Preliminary Waterway Suitability Analysis (WSA) to the Coast Guard at the same time the FERC pre-fling process begins. 4 While the WSA is under development, the applicant must also create resource report information about the project and the affected environment. During the pre- fling review period, FERC staff members also issue a notice of intent to prepare a NEPA document, which initiates a public scoping period. This notice, which elic- its input on potential environmental and safety impact, is sent to all stakeholders, including affected landowners, other fed- eral agencies, state governments, and local entities. The pre-fling review and application review involve preparing an environ- mental assessment or impact statement to satisfy the commission's obligations under the National Environmental Pol- icy Act (NEPA). Although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the lead agency in this effort, NEPA docu- ment preparation involves the partici- pation of many other federal agencies in assessing impacts associated with terminal construction and operation. For example, FERC, the Coast Guard, and the DOT signed an interagency agreement in 2004 that outlines the col- laborative process that all three agen- cies use in reviewing LNG terminal proposals. 2 The DOT and Coast Guard participate in the development of the NEPA document as cooperating agen- cies, but each remains responsible for enforcing agency-spe- cifc regulations covering LNG facility design, construction, and operation. Pre-fling Review Applicants for a liquefed natural gas terminal are required to participate in FERC's pre-fling review process for no less than 180 days. During this period, the project owner secures access to the terminal site, develops the preliminary facil- ity design, and drafts the environmental resource reports needed for the FERC application. In addition, the applicant Berthing operations at the Cove Point LNG terminal in the Chesapeake Bay near Lusby, Maryland. Photo courtesy of Mr. Michael Gardner, Dominion Cove Point LNG. LNG carrier under tug assist. Photo courtesy of Mr. William Lansinger, Jr., Sempra Energy.

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