Special to the PRESS
Having worked in the shipping industry for 20 years, I was pleased to see the U.S. Coast Guard’s favorable Letter of Recommendation for the proposed Rio Grande LNG project and comforted by its finding – the Brownsville Ship Channel is suitable for LNG marine traffic, and specifically the type and quantity proposed by Rio Grande LNG.
This is great news as it moves us one step closer to realizing the tremendous economic benefits this project can bring our region, while ensuring it is safe and environmentally responsible.
From my dealings with the Coast Guard, I know that safety is a high priority, and I have strong confidence in their maritime safety and security expertise.
The 13-page Coast Guard Letter of Recommendation and detailed analysis, which were submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in December, covered the suitability of Brownsville Ship Channel for LNG marine traffic. The analysis focused on the navigation safety and maritime security of LNG vessel transits, including potential risks and risk management.
The letter also noted that the Coast Guard would assess each LNG ship transit on a case-by-case basis to safeguard the public, the port and environment once the LNG export facility is in operation.
The Coast Guard’s analysis was comprehensive in its depth and breadth. It considered Port of Brownsville infrastructure, traffic density and waterway conditions, as well as the results of Space X Spaceport safety modeling completed and reviewed by independent consultants at FERC’s request.
The Coast Guard also held a workshop to get input from stakeholders representing the port, Brownsville and Port Isabel navigation districts, ship pilots associations and the private sector.
This Letter of Recommendation and analysis also address concerns expressed by some around safety, security, the environment and economics. The Coast Guard’s report and favorable recommendation should address and ally those concerns.
I support Rio Grande LNG because I believe it will be a safe, secure, environmentally responsible project that will have a huge, positive economic impact on our region, employing thousands and boosting our economy.
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