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North Spit

In this 2017 file photo, this is an aerial view of the North Spit, the proposed site for Jordan Cove pipeline.

COOS BAY — The U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday gave its stamp of approval for Jordan Cove LNG to proceed, based on a waterway sustainability assessment, according to a USCG press release from its Astoria office. 

Based upon this review, the captain of the Port, Sector Columbia River recommended to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that the waterway in its current state be considered suitable for LNG marine traffic associated with this project, the release said.

“At this point, the waterway can accommodate the types of vessels associated with the proposed Jordan Cove LNG facility. We are working together to make sure that any resource issues are resolved through the Emergency Response Planning Process,” said Captain William Timmons, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Sector Columbia River.

The specific measures and the resources needed are documented in a Letter of Recommendation submitted to the FERC, according to the USCG release.

The Coast Guard received official notification January 9, 2017, of the company’s proposal to build an LNG terminal in Coos Bay. During the course of that time, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River personnel worked with the applicant, state and local emergency response providers, as well as port and community stakeholders to assess the safety and security issues associated with LNG tankers traveling into Coos Bay.

The Coast Guard will continue working with the FERC on the development of an Environmental Impact Statement that addresses the effects of the proposed safety and security measures along the waterway.

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FERC is responsible for authorizing the siting, construction, and operation of onshore LNG facilities. Once FERC completes its review of an application for an LNG facility, it is required to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In the EIS, FERC evaluates issues ranging from biological to socioeconomic and security impacts. The Coast Guard will serve as a cooperating agency for FERC’s Environmental Impact Statement.

If the facility is permitted by FERC, Jordan Cove LNG will be required to submit an Emergency Response Plan and Transit Management plans that identify the resources necessary to support the Waterways Suitability Analysis and facility operation. The applicant will also have to document its cost sharing arrangements with the affected communities for project related expenses.

The Jordan Cove LNG project has received its share of criticism from its opposition and remains a contentious issue among proponents and opponents of the project. Officials from LNG and local proponents and opponents of the project were not available for comment Sunday.

Check back with for further developments to this story.

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Executive Editor