2019-21625. Waterway Suitability Assessment for Operations of Liquefied Hazardous Gas Terminal; Nederland, TX  

  • Start Preamble


    Coast Guard, DHS.


    Notice of inquiry; request for comments.


    We are requesting your comments on a Letter of Intent and Preliminary Waterway Suitability Assessment we received from Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals to expand their existing liquefied hazardous gas (LHG) operations by increasing the number of liquefied propane and butane ship visits from approximately 120 per year to 432 ship visits per year. Additionally, they intend to expand operations to include 120 liquefied ethane ship visits per year. The Coast Guard is notifying the public of this proposed increase in LHG 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.


    Your comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before November 6, 2019.


    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2019-0615 using the Federal portal at https://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    Start Further Info


    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.

    End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information


    I. Table of Abbreviations

    CFR Code of Federal RegulationsStart Printed Page 53353

    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 hazardous gas (LHG), or an owner or operator planning new construction to expand or modify marine terminal operations in an existing facility handling LHG, where the construction, expansion, or modification would result in an increase in the size and/or frequency of LHG 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 LHG 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 LHG 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 LHG marine traffic on the affected waterway.

    III. Information Requested

    On March 11, 2013, Sunoco Partners Marketing and Terminals, located in Nederland, TX, submitted an LOI and Preliminary WSA indicating the company's proposed plans to expand operations of an existing dock to handle liquefied hazardous gas, specifically propane and butane, with an estimated 132 vessels calling on the facility each year. On July 14, 2019, the COTP received a new LOI and an Addendum to the original WSA. 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 Sunoco's LOI and WSA Addendum and the development of the Coast Guard's LOR. A brief summary of Sunoco'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 Coast Guard will refer to NVIC 01-2011 for process information and guidance in evaluating Sunoco's WSA Addendum. 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 https://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using https://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 https://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit https://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 https://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).

    Start Signature

    Dated: September 30, 2019.

    Jacqueline Twomey,

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

    End Signature End Supplemental Information

    [FR Doc. 2019-21625 Filed 10-4-19; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 9110-04-P

Document Information

Homeland Security Department
Coast Guard
Proposed Rule
Notice of inquiry; request for comments.
Document Number:
Your comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before November 6, 2019.
53352-53353 (2 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Docket Number USCG-2019-0615
PDF File:
CFR: (1)
33 CFR 127