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Notice and Request for Comments; Letter of Recommendation, LNG Jefferson County, TX

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Coast Guard, DHS.


Notice and request for public comment.


The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP), Port Arthur, is preparing a letter of recommendation as to the suitability of the Sabine Pass Channel waterway for liquefied natural gas (LNG) marine traffic. The COTP is looking for comments and related material pertaining specifically to the Maritime Operation, Waterways Management, and Port Security aspects of the proposed LNG Facility.


Comments and related material pertaining specifically to the Maritime Operation, Waterways Management, and Port Security aspects of the proposed LNG Facility must reach the Coast Guard on or before February 22, 2005.


You may mail comments and related material to: Commanding Officer, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, 2901 Turtle Creek Drive, Port Arthur, TX 77642, ATTN: Waterways Management Branch.

You may send comments and related material by fax to:U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office (MSO) Port Arthur Attention: Waterways Management Branch (409) 723-6532. U.S. Coast Guard MSO Port Arthur maintains a file for this notice. Comments and material received from the public during the comment period will become part of this file and will be available for inspection or copying at U.S. Coast Guard MSO Port Arthur, Waterways Management Branch, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.

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Lieutenant (LT) Kevin Smith or LT Constance Ruckstuhl at U.S. Coast Guard MSO Port Arthur, (409) 723-6501.

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Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate by submitting comments and related material pertaining specifically to the Maritime Operation, Waterways Management, and Port Security aspects of the proposed LNG Facility. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number Start Printed Page 3219[COTP Port Arthur-04-018], indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. Please submit all comments and related material in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. For a returned receipt, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. The recommendation made by this office may be affected by comments received.

Public Meeting

We do not now plan to hold public meetings or hearings. But you may submit a request for meetings or hearing by writing to Commanding Officer, U.S. Coast Guard MSO Port Arthur at the address under ADDRESSES explaining why they would be beneficial. If we determine that public hearings or meetings would benefit the recommendation process, we will hold them at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is responsible for authorizing the siting and construction of onshore LNG facilities under Section 3 (15 U.S.C. 717b) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) (15 U.S.C. 717 et seq.). FERC also authorizes the construction and operation of interstate natural gas pipelines that may be associated with the LNG facilities under Section 7 (15 U.S.C. 717b) of the NGA. The FERC conducts environmental, safety, and security reviews of LNG plants and related pipeline facilities, and as the Lead Federal Agency prepares the overall National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation (18 CFR part 380). As required by NEPA, FERC will issue a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for review and comment by the public. After issuing the DEIS for this proposed LNG facility and pipeline project, FERC will hold a public meeting. The date, time, and location of this meeting will be published on FERC's Web site,, under Docket Nos. CP04-386-000, CP04-400-000 (“Golden Pass LNG and Pipeline Project”).

Background and Purpose

Under 33 CFR 127.009, the U.S. Coast Guard COTP Port Arthur, is preparing a letter of recommendation as to the suitability of the Sabine Pass Channel waterway for liquefied natural gas (LNG) marine traffic. The letter of recommendation is in response to a Letter of Intent to operate a LNG facility in Jefferson County, TX. This facility would consist of an LNG import terminal and storage facilities and approximately 75 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline crossing four counties in Texas and one parish in LA. The Letter of Intent is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

Golden Pass LNG Terminal LP propose to build a new LNG import, storage, and vaporization terminal in a rural part of Jefferson County, Texas, across the Sabine Neches Ship Channel, Jefferson County, Texas; and a natural gas pipeline to transfer up to 2.7 billion cubic feet per day of imported natural gas. Golden Pass has acquired a 477-acre tract of land, for the proposed LNG terminal facility. The facility property is approximately 10 miles south of Port Arthur, Texas and 2 miles northeast of Sabine, Texas. The LNG import terminal would import, store, and vaporize an average of approximately 2,000 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfd) of LNG, with an installed capacity of 2,700 MMscfd, for supply to U.S. natural gas markets. Golden Pass seeks authority to construct and operate the following new facilities:

1. A new marine basin connected to the Sabine Pass Channel that would include a ship maneuvering area and two protected berths to unload up to 200 LNG ships per year with a ship capacity ranging up to 250,000 cubic meters (m3) of LNG;

2. Two 30-inch-diameter single wall, 304 stainless steel, insulated LNG transfer lines to transfer the LNG from the berth facilities to the LNG storage tanks;

3. Five insulated full-containment LNG storage tanks, each with a working capacity of approximately 155,000 m3 and each with secondary containment dikes to contain the gross tank volume;

4. A boil-off gas (BOG) recovery system consisting of three BOG compressors (141,783 ft3/hr), one return gas blower and a 271 bbl direct-contact re-condenser;

5. Ancillary utilities, buildings, and service facilities, including hazard detection and fire response systems;

6. Approximately 77 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline extending from the LNG import terminal to an interconnection with an existing Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation interstate pipeline near Starks, Louisiana;

7. Approximately a 43 mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline commencing at the LNG import terminal send-out metering station parallel to and looping the Golden Pass Pipeline as far as the Sabine Gas Pipeline Meter Station in Jefferson County, Texas; and,

8. Associated pipeline facilities including pig launchers/receivers and metering equipment.

Construction of the LNG terminal facilities would take approximately 3 years and the pipeline would take approximately 12 months. Golden Pass proposes to place the project in service in the 2008-2009 timeframe.

In preparation for issuance of the letter of recommendation, the COTP will consider all information submitted by the owner or operator under the requirements of 33 CFR 127.007, as well as comments received from the public.

Additional Information

Additional information can be found in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission document entitled “Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Golden Pass LNG and Pipeline Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting and Site Visit”, published in the Federal Register September 27, 2004 (69 FR 57684) and available for download at under Docket Nos. CP04-386-000, CP04-400-000.

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Dated: January 6, 2005.

Sharon K. Richey,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Port Arthur.

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[FR Doc. 05-1104 Filed 1-19-05; 8:45 am]