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Notice

Waterway Suitability Assessment for Operation of Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal; Cameron, LA

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of inquiry; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are requesting your comments on a Letter of Intent and Preliminary Waterway Suitability Assessment we received from Sabine Pass LNG, L.P. (SPLNG) regarding SPLNG's plans to construct a new berth at its Cameron Parish, LA facility and to increase the number of liquefied natural gas vessels calling at the facility from approximately 400 to 580 annually. The Coast Guard is notifying the public of this proposed increase in LNG marine traffic on the Sabine-Neches Waterway and is soliciting comments relevant to the Coast Guard's preparation of a Letter of Recommendation for issuance to the federal, state, or local agency with jurisdiction over the proposed facility.

DATES:

Comments and related material must be received on or before August 8, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0915 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for further instructions on submitting comments.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about this notice of inquiry, call or email Mr. Scott K. Whalen, Vessel Traffic Service Director, Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 409-719-5086, email Scott.K.Whalen@uscg.mil.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

COTP Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur

DHS Department of Homeland Security

LNG Liquefied Natural Gas

LOI Letter of Intent

LOR Letter of Recommendation

NVIC Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular

U.S.C. United States Code

WSA Waterway Suitability Assessment

II. Background and Purpose

Under 33 CFR 127.007(a), an owner or operator planning to build a new facility handling liquefied natural gas (LNG), or an owner or operator planning new construction to expand or modify marine terminal operations in an existing facility handling LNG, where the construction, expansion, or modification would result in an increase in the size and/or frequency of LNG marine traffic on the waterway associated with the proposed facility or modification to an existing facility, must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the Captain of the Port of the zone in which the facility is or will be located. Under 33 CFR 127.007(e), an owner or operator planning such new construction or expansion of an existing facility must also file or update a Waterway Suitability Assessment (WSA) that addresses the proposed increase in LNG marine traffic in the associated waterway.

Under 33 CFR 127.009, after receiving an LOI, the Captain of the Port issues a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) as to the suitability of the waterway for LNG marine traffic to the appropriate jurisdictional authorities. The LOR is based on a series of factors listed in 33 CFR 127.009 that relate to the physical nature of the affected waterway and issues of safety and security associated with LNG marine traffic on the affected waterway.

III. Information Requested

On January 29, 2018, Sabine Pass LNG, L.P. (SPLNG), located in Cameron Parish, LA, submitted an LOI and Preliminary WSA regarding the company's proposed plans to develop a new marine berth and expand the number of vessels calling on the facility each year from approximately 400 to 580. The purpose of this notice is to solicit public comments on the proposed increase in LNG marine traffic on the Sabine-Neches Waterway. The Coast Guard believes that public input may be useful to the Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur (COTP) with respect to validating the information provided in SPLNG's Preliminary WSA and development of the LOR. A brief summary of SPLNG's proposal is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

On January 24, 2011, the Coast Guard published Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-2011, titled “Guidance Related to Waterfront Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Facilities”. NVIC 01-2011 provides guidance for owners and operators seeking approval to build and operate LNG facilities. The Start Printed Page 31764Coast Guard will refer to NVIC 01-2011 for process information and guidance in evaluating SPLNG's WSA. NVIC 01-2011 is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES and also on the Coast Guard's website at https://www.dco.uscg.mil/​Portals/​9/​DCO%20Documents/​5p/​5ps/​NVIC/​2011/​NVIC%2001-2011%20Final.pdf.

IV. Public Participation and Request for Comments

We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. In your submission, please include the docket number for this notice of inquiry and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/​privacyNotice.

Documents mentioned in this notice of inquiry as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's instructions.

This document is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552 (a).

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Dated: July 2, 2018.

Jacqueline Twomey,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur.

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[FR Doc. 2018-14596 Filed 7-6-18; 8:45 am]

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