Coast Guard finds Oregon waterways ‘not currently suitable’ for LNG

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(PORTLAND, Ore.) — The Coast Guard has completed its actions as a Cooperating Agency to the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC,) who are responsible for authorizing the siting, construction and operation of onshore Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facilities.

The FERC is required to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) evaluating issues ranging from air quality and biological impacts to cultural and socioeconomic impacts as well as safety and security impacts. As a Cooperating Agency, the Coast Guard’s role is focused on the safety and security of the waterway.

The Coast Guard received official notification from Northern Star Natural Gas LLC’s of their proposal to build an LNG terminal in Bradwood, Ore., at mile 38 on the Columbia River, in January 2005. Jordan Cove Energy Project provided their official notice to build an LNG terminal in Coos Bay, Ore., in April 2006. Oregon LNG provided their official notice to build an LNG terminal in Warrenton, Ore., at mile 8 on the Columbia River in May 2007.

Since their respective filings, Coast Guard Sector Portland has worked with each applicant, port and community stakeholders and state and local emergency response providers to assess the safety and security issues associated with LNG tankers traveling on the Columbia River and in Coos Bay. Based upon this review, the Captain of the Port of Sector Portland has determined that the applicable portions of the waterways are not currently suitable but could be made suitable for the type and frequency of LNG marine traffic associated with each project. The specific risk mitigation measures and the resources needed are documented in each Applicant’s Waterways Suitability Assessment as well as the Waterway Suitability Report or Letter of Recommendation Analysis that has been submitted to the FERC.

If licensed by FERC, the Applicant will be required to submit an Emergency Response Plan that identifies the resources necessary to fill the gaps identified in the Waterway Suitability Assessment and the Waterway Suitability Report or Letter of Recommendation Analysis.

“We will continue to work with our port community stakeholders and emergency responders to ensure the necessary measures are taken to maintain the safety of LNG vessels and the waterways,” said Frederick G. Myer, Captain of the Port of Sector Portland.

The Letter of Recommendation and related documentation is available through the Coast Guard’s Home Port web site or Sector Portland’s web page at Many of these documents will also be available through the FERCs E-Library at

By Professional Mariner Staff