Cheryl Golek #5

 
Cheryl Golek

WHO SETS THERMAL RADIATION ZONES ON TANKERS?

 

 

Fairwinds had a presentation on FERC regulations, and their permitting process and a call in to answer question on HTV-14.  I don’t remember the date but I called in with a question and I thought I would just share the conversation.

 

 

 I CALLED AND ASKED THIS:

 

FERC regulations set the thermal radiation safety zones at the plant, well who sets the thermal radiation zones for the tankers?

 

PETER FROST OF CONCO PHILLIPS:

 

“That is a process that is included in the environmental analysis that the applicant prepares, it is part of the initial application. The commission then reviews that application, applies its own criteria, independently reviews the analysis to determine whether it is appropriate or not and then makes its own decision.”

DAVE CHIPMAN:

So that’s based on?

 

 I ASKED:


” What federal agency?”

 

IDRA MATTARAT OF TRANS CANADA:

 

“There is an interaction when you are talking about the navigation and the ship in motion, between the US Coast Guard and the FERC, and between them they will make a determination of the appropriate exclusion zone for the carriers in motion.”

 

SO IN RESPONSE TO THAT I STATED:

 

“According to a letter that I have here “The currant FERC siting regulations for LNG plants do not require an assessment for the consequences of ship accidents.”

 

“Coastguard officials said their responsibility is to monitor the movement of the tanker vessels and to make sure those ships are in compliance with a wide range of domestic and international regulations. Once a terminal has been built the US Coast Guard can elect to provide tanker escorts and even have Coast Guard personnel onboard the tankers.”

 

“At this time the Department of Transportation officials said their agency has nothing to do with the safety of LNG tanker deliveries to on shore terminals.”

 

AND AGAIN SO WHAT FEDERAL AGENCY COVERS IT?

 

PETER MICCICHE – STAKEHOLDERS RELATIONS MANAGER:

                                                          

“Well maam, if you look at the Portland press herald article on Oct 6th where the Coast Guard is quoted for what power exclusion zone it might look like for the vessel. The captain of the port of the US Coast Guard of the area where the LNG carrier will be coming into the marine terminal is the one that determines the exclusion zone.”

 

 

 

 

DAVE CHIPMAN:

 

“So to clear things up exclusion zone is determined by several factors. The scientific data on the possibility of a fire or a catastrophe and on the likely hood of lets say a terrorist attack.”

 

 

PETER MICCICHE – STAKEHOLDERS RELATIONS MANAGER:

 

“There are many different factors, population density, location, location in the infrastructure, valuable economic infrastructure; there are many different factors.”

 

DAVE CHIPMAN:

 

“Dose that answer your question?”

 

IN RESPONSE TO THAT I STATED:

 

Well I think you tried to but it really didn’t get answered. I am going to go now and listen.

 

 

PETER MICCICHE – STAKEHOLDERS RELATIONS MANAGER:

 

“A vulnerability assessment is computed by the US Coast Guard and in conjunction with the company and the Coast Guard captain of that port makes the final determination on what’s going to be required. Not just with the zones around the vessel safety zones around the vessel, but the amount of security that’s required both with the vessel and an on land marine terminal itself. whether or not there will be an escort vessel sometimes.  Often tugs will be required, so there is a combination of things that could be and later will be required.”

 

“The Coast Guard was quoted like I said in the Portland press herald I think October 6th by saying this facility would look a lot more like Cove point security wise, with the 500ft yard security zone and possibly the same kind of you know maybe a rigid hull inflatable for now until they become comfortable with the different ships and crews. But it would look a lot more like Cove Point Maryland, than Boston Everett.”

 

 DAVE CHIPMAN:

 

“Now is FERC involved in that part of the exclusion zone, or is that done strictly by the US Coast Guard?”

 

PETER FROST OF CONCO PHILLIPS:

 

“I was speaking to the exclusion zone of the on shore tanks.”

 

PETER MICCICHE – STAKEHOLDERS RELATIONS MANAGER:

 

“And the department of transportation is a part of FERC and that’s who sets the exclusion zones. And those are set by many many years of experience dealing with LNG and LNG facilities in reference to NFPA 59A that’s where we know what the amount of energy does at a certain distance from the core and that’s how they determine to make the public safe around that area. That’s how they determine what those clearances should be.”

 

(This is where another phone call came in and the conversation on this topic ended.)

 

SO I AM STILL LEFT WITH MY UNANSWERED QUESTION?

 

 WHO SETS THE THERMAL RADIATION SAFETY ZONES FOR THE LNG TANKERS?

 

In this conversation “what Federal Agency sets thermal radiation safety zones for LNG tankers?” was never answered. In fact it was never again mentioned by anybody but myself, they spoke about exclusion zones and yes I know that the Coast Guard sets this. But this is not a thermal radiation safety zone.

 

This quote came from the Mobile Register:

 

“  Bob Corbin, deputy program manager for the Coast Guard's deep water ports program, said Coast Guard regulations and supervision have helped to dramatically reduce -- though not eliminate -- the chance of an LNG accident or terrorist attack. “

“But Corbin, speaking from Washington, said the "decision to make a safety zone" around a vessel is "clearly an operational decision" that would be made after the terminal is already approved and built”

“Corbin said the Coast Guard's widely varying safety zones -- which were 50 feet wide at the most recently approved LNG facility near Lake Charles, La. -- are primarily designed to protect the ship. They are not, he said, based on fire or heat dispersion analyses that would determine whether a ship accident would harm nearby communities.”

"With respect to the actual decision-making process on siting the facility, we do not have a direct role in that process," Corbin said. “

And I also find it interesting that the first person to give me an answer was

 

PETER FROST OF CONCO PHILLIPS:

 

“That is a process that is included in the environmental analysis that that the applicant prepares, it is part of the initial application. The commission then reviews that application, applies its own criteria independently reviews the analysis to determine what ever is appropriate or not and then makes its own decision.”

 

He stated at the end of the conversation stated.

 

That he was speaking to the exclusion zone of the onshore tanks.

 

The last comment from:

 

PETER MICCICHE – STAKEHOLDERS RELATIONS MANAGER:

“And the department of transportation is a part of FERC and that’s who sets the exclusion zones. And those are set by many many years of experience dealing with LNG and LNG facilities in reference to NFPA 59A that’s where we know what the amount of energy does at a certain distance from the core and that’s how they determine to make the public safe around that area. That’s how they determine what those clearances should be.”

 

 

 

 

 

 According to a quote from the Mobile Register:

 

“Department of Transportation officials said their agency has nothing to do with the safety of LNG tanker deliveries to onshore terminals.”

 

Well I looked for  NFPA 59A  and here are a couple of things I found.  What I did not find was Who sets thermal radiation safety zones for tankers .  As far as I can tell The Department of Transportation covers LNG plants associated with pipelines they have nothing to do with tanker deliveries.



 

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Production, Storage & Handling Standard, 2001 Edition, 40pp.

 

Recently referenced in U.S. federal regulations by D.O.T. for LNG plants associated with pipelines, NFPA 59A provides for the site selection, design, construction, and fire protection of Liquefied Natural Gas facilities.

You can get a copy of this book at.

 

http://www.normas.com/NFPA/PAGES/NFPA-0059A(01).html

 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Research and Special Programs Administration

49 CFR Part 193

[Docket No. RSPA-97-3002; Amdt. 193-17]

[RIN 2137-AD11]

Pipeline Safety: Incorporation of Standard NFPA 59A in the Liquefied Natural Gas Regulations

 

SUMMARY: This final rule incorporates by reference an industry consensus standard for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities subject to the pipeline safety regulations. This standard, developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), specifies siting, design, construction, equipment, and fire protection requirements that apply to new LNG facilities and to existing facilities that have been replaced , relocated, or significantly altered. All new, replaced, relocated, and significantly altered facilities are also subject to the new operating and maintenance requirements, and all other requirements specified in this rule, as well as the unchanged portions of the regulations. The fire protection requirements also apply to existing LNG facilities. The incorporation by reference of this standard will allow the LNG industry to use the latest technology, materials, and practices while maintaining the current level of safety.

 

http://ops.dot.gov/193-NFPA.FR4.htm

 

So with out repeating myself to much, does anyone know what Federal agency sets thermal radiation safety zones for tankers?  It seems to me that tankers are a lot more vulnerable than the plants, and scientists have written on this fact. So it seems to me that if the plant has to have a thermal radiation safety zone to attempt to keep people safe, although the least intense thermal radiation that FERC rules allows humans outside the site boundary to be exposed to is 5 kilowatts per square meter, an amount that produces second degree burns only after 30 seconds of exposure.

So in actuality FERC rules allow human fatalities.

 

But back to my point it seems to me that there should be a Federal Agency that sets thermal radiation safety zones for tankers. Especially seeing that they are more vulnerable to (yes I am going to say that word that some people have gone in denial over.) a terrorist attack.  I can not find anything that states there is one and PETER FROST OF CONCO PHILLIPS, PETER MICCICHE STAKEHOLDERS RELATIONS MANAGER, and IDRA MATTARAT OF TRANS CANADA obviously could not tell me that their was one either. Since the call-in I have been trying to find out if there is one. But all I come up with is that their isn’t one and it is not even included in the thermal radiation safety zones that are set at the plant by FERC even when the ship is docked there. So here’s one final quote from the

 

 

 

 

Mobile Register.

"The current FERC siting regulations for LNG plants do not require an assessment for the consequences of a ship accident. ... Anybody can check that by going to the federal regulations," said Jerry Havens, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Arkansas whose scientific work lies at the heart of federal regulations governing LNG facilities. "A shipping accident never has been considered in the regulations. I'm just saying that these days, it needs to be considered, particularly in view of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."

 

If anyone knows which Federal Agency sets thermal radiation safety zones around LNG tankers let me know were and what agency I can access it from, because I have searched and come up with nothing.

 

So at this point in time I am left to believe that LNG tankers do not have thermal radiation safety zones set by anybody.

 

Here’s is the letter that sparked my question at the call-in to begin with, along with some other things I have read on safety issues of LNG tankers.

 Who gauges tanker hazard?

10/26/03

By BEN RAINES and BILL FINCH
Staff Reporters

The Mobile Register has been unable to find any evidence that federal agencies are required to consider the risks of giant liquefied natural gas tanker ships when deciding whether LNG terminals would be appropriate for populated areas like Mobile.

http://www.al.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/news/106716357361900.xml

Harbor Security by S.Fred Singer, Phd
"Next to a nuclear bomb, the most destructive kind of calamity imaginable is the explosion in a big-city harbor of a tanker carrying Liquefied Natural gas."
http://www.sepp.org/weekwas/2002/Jan5.htm

 

 

Terror At High Seas
An ABC NEWS investigation has uncovered the increasing fears in shipping and
security circles that armed terrorists may, as pirates already do , seize ships
carrying liquid natural gas, chemicals or oil. But, rather then rob a ship; they
could transform it into what a sea captain in malaysia, Raja Kumar, "calls a
floating bomb

 

 

 

 

 

 

washingtonpost.com

Terrorism Warning Statement


The Associated Press
Friday, November 21, 2003; 7:50 PM

 

The Department of Homeland Security remains concerned about al-Qaida's continued interest in aviation including using cargo jets to carry out attacks on critical infrastructure as well as targeting liquid natural gas, chemical and other hazardous materials facilities.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A4648-2003Nov21?language=printer

 

 

This is a section taking from the book Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security by Amory and Hunter Lovins:

Part 2 Chapter 8
Disasters Waiting to Happen

 

About nine percent of such a tanker load of LNG will probably, if spilled onto water, boil to gas in about five minutes. (It does not matter how cold the water is; it will be at least two hundred twenty-eight Fahrenheit degrees hotter than the LNG, which it will therefore cause to boil violently.) The resulting gas, however, will be so cold that it will still be denser than air. It will therefore flow in a cloud or plume along the surface until it reaches an ignition source. Such a plume might extend at least three miles downwind from a large tanker spill within ten to twenty minutes. It might ultimately reach much farther—perhaps six to twelve miles.

If not ignited, the gas is asphyxiating. If ignited, it will burn to completion with a turbulent diffusion flame reminiscent of the 1937 Hindenberg disaster but about a hundred times as big. Such a fireball would burn everything within it, and by its radiant heat would cause third-degree burns and start fires a mile or two away. An LNG fireball can blow through a city, creating "a very large number of ignitions and explosions across a wide area. No present or foreseeable equipment can put out a very large [LNG]...fire." The energy content of a single standard LNG tanker (one hundred twenty-five thousand cubic meters) is equivalent to seven-tenths of a megaton of TNT, or about fifty-five Hiroshima bombs.

http://reactor-core.org/brittle-power/