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.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/578020
28 Proceedings Fall 2015 www.uscg.mil/proceedings FERC bases determination of whether an environmental assessment or an impact statement will be developed on the complexity and scope of the proposed project. For example, modifying existing facilities on previously analyzed areas are generally handled through an environmental assess- ment, where expansions outside of existing facility bound- aries typically require an environmental impact statement. Application Review After review and FERC comment on draft resource reports, the applicant fles the formal Federal Energy Regulatory Commission application. Commission staff members then provide public notice of the application, review the proj- ect sponsor's information and stakeholder comments, and determine whether additional information is needed to address environmental and safety issues. The applicant concurrently submits the Follow-On Waterway Suitability Analysis to the Coast Guard. At this stage, the information in the waterway suitability analysis should depict the liquefed natural gas terminal, the LNG carrier route, and the port area with enough detail U.S. Coast Guard and MARAD Efforts by Mr. Curtis Borland Attorney/Advisor U.S. Coast Guard Vessel and Facility Operating Standards Division There are two types of liquefed natural gas terminals over which the Coast Guard exercises regulatory authority: ● traditional shore-side facilities that the Federal Energy Regulator y Commission licenses, ● ofshore terminals located beyond state seaward boundaries that are classifed as deepwater ports. Deepwater Ports The Maritime Administration (MARAD), as the licensing authority, determines if a deepwater port applicant's fnan- cial and U.S. citizenship requirements have been met. Additionally, MARAD approves deepwater port construction, operation, and decommissioning. The Coast Guard is the co-lead federal agency for processing a deepwater port application and leads environ- mental impact review development for a proposed deepwater port. The Coast Guard also reviews and approves a deepwater port's operations manual, which must describe port operation and include measures to mitigate and monitor any possible adverse envi- ronmental impact resulting from port construction and operation. Since 2002, the Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration have received 18 applications to construct and operate natural gas deepwater ports. There are currently two deepwater ports in opera- tion — one company has received a license to construct and operate a port on the west coast of Florida and one company's application is currently in process. Waterfront Facility Authority and Actions The Coast Guard exercises regulatory authority over waterfront LNG facilities and the associated vessel traffic that may affect port areas and navigable waterways safety and security. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commis- sion has the exclusive authority to approve or deny an application for a liquefed natural gas terminal located onshore or in state waters. As such, FERC is the lead federal agency responsible for preparing the required environmental impact analysis. The Coast Guard is a FERC "cooperating agency" and serves as a subject matter expert on matters relating to maritime safety and security. An applicant intending to build a new facility handling liquefed natural gas or planning new construction to expand or modify marine terminal operations at an existing facility must submit a letter of intent and waterway suitability assessment to the Coast Guard captain of the port. The captain of the port then validates the information, typically by convening an ad hoc working group of existing committees (such as the harbor safety committee or area maritime secu- rity committee) and other stakeholders, including state and local government agencies, frst responder organizations, and marine pilot associations. After the validation process is complete, the captain of the port provides the FERC with a letter of recommendation that addresses the project's suitability. About the author: Mr. Curtis Borland is a legal advisor in the Coast Guard Office of Operating and Environmental Standards, Vessel and Facility Operating Stan- dards Division. He also served on active duty in the Coast Guard as a judge advocate. Bibliography: E.O. 10173 E.O. 13605 The Magnuson Act (50 U.S.C. § 191) The Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972, as amended (33 U.S.C. § 1221 et seq.) The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (46 U.S.C. § 701) 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq. 33 C.F.R. § 127.007