[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 115 (Friday, June 14, 2013)]
[Pages 36014-36016]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14203]



Maritime Administration

[Docket No. USCG-2013-0363]

Deepwater Port License Application: Liberty Natural Gas, LLC, 
Port Ambrose Deepwater Port

AGENCY: Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation.

ACTION: Notice of Application.


SUMMARY: The Maritime Administration (MarAd) and the U.S. Coast Guard 
(USCG) announce they have received an application for the licensing of 
a liquefied natural gas deepwater port and that the application 
contains the required information. This notice summarizes the 
applicant's plans and the procedures that will be followed in 
considering the application.

DATES: The Deepwater Port Act of 1974, as amended, requires any public 
hearing(s) on this application to be held not later than 240 days after 
publication of this notice, and a decision on the application not later 
than 90 days after the final public hearing.

ADDRESSES: The public docket for USCG-2013-0363 is maintained by the 
U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Management Facility, West 
Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590. The Federal Docket Management Facility accepts 
hand-delivered submissions, and makes docket contents available for 
public inspection and copying at this address between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Federal 
Docket Management Facility's telephone number is 202-366-9329, the fax 
number is 202-493-2251 and the Web site for electronic submissions or 
for electronic access to docket contents is http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Roddy Bachman, U.S. Coast Guard, 
telephone: 202-372-1451, email: [email protected] or Ms. Tracey 
Ford, Maritime Administration, telephone: 202-366-0321, email: 
[email protected]. For questions regarding viewing the Docket, call 
Ms. Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone: 


Receipt of Application

    On September 28, 2012, MarAd and USCG received an application from 
Liberty Natural Gas, LLC for all Federal authorizations required for a 
license to own, construct, and operate a deepwater port authorized 
under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1501 et 
seq. (the Act). The application contains all information required by 
the Act to initiate the licensing review and approval process.


    According to the Act, a deepwater port is a fixed or floating man-
made structure other than a vessel, or a group of structures, including 
all components and equipment, including pipelines, pumping or 
compressor stations, service platforms, buoys, mooring lines, and 
similar facilities that are proposed as part of a deepwater port, 
located beyond State seaward boundaries and used or intended for use as 
a port or terminal for the transportation, storage, and further 
handling of oil or natural gas for transportation to, or from, any 

    \1\ On December 20, 2012, the Coast Guard and Maritime 
Transportation Act of 2012 (Title III, Sec. 312) amended Section 
3(9)(A) of the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (33 U.S.C. 1502(9)(A) to 
insert the words ``or from'' before the words ``any State'' in the 
definition of Deepwater Port. This amendment grants MarAd the 
authority to license the construction of Deepwater Ports for the 
export of oil and natural gas from domestic sources within the 
United States to foreign markets abroad.

    The Maritime Administrator possesses the authority to license a 
deepwater port (by delegation from the Secretary of Transportation, 
published on June 18, 2003 [68 FR 36496]). Statutory and regulatory 
requirements for licensing appear in 33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq. and 33 CFR 
part 148. Under delegations from, and agreements between, the Secretary 
of Transportation and the Secretary of Homeland Security, applications 
are jointly processed by MarAd and USCG. Each application is considered 
on its merits.
    In accordance with 33 U.S.C. 1504(f) for all applications, MarAd 
and USCG,

[[Page 36015]]

working in cooperation with other Federal agencies and departments, 
shall comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), among others, are 
cooperating agencies and will assist in the NEPA process as described 
in 40 CFR 1501.6; will participate in scoping meeting(s); and will 
incorporate the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) into their 
permitting processes. Comments addressed to the EPA, USACE, or other 
federal cooperating agencies will be incorporated into the Department 
of Transportation (DOT) docket and considered as the EIS is developed 
to ensure consistency with the NEPA process.
    MarAd, in issuing this Notice of Application pursuant to section 
1504(c) of the Act, must designate as an ``Adjacent Coastal State'' any 
coastal state which (A) would be directly connected by pipeline to a 
deepwater port as proposed in an application, or (B) would be located 
within 15 miles of any such proposed deepwater port (see 33 U.S.C. 
1508(a)(1)). On April 30, 2013, MarAd issued a Notice of Policy 
Clarification Concerning the Designation of Adjacent Coastal States for 
Deepwater Port License Applications in the Federal Register (78 FR 
25349-25351) advising the public that nautical miles shall be used when 
determining Adjacent Coastal State status. Pursuant to the criteria 
provided in the Act, New York and New Jersey are the Adjacent Coastal 
States for this application. Other states may apply for Adjacent 
Coastal State status in accordance with 33 U.S.C. 1508(a)(2).
    The Act directs that at least one public hearing take place in each 
Adjacent Coastal State, in this case, New York and New Jersey. 
Additional public meetings may be conducted to solicit comments for the 
environmental analysis to include public scoping meetings, or meetings 
to discuss the Draft EIS and the Final EIS.
    MarAd and USCG will publish additional Federal Register notices 
with information regarding these public meeting(s) and hearing(s) and 
other procedural milestones, including the NEPA environmental review. 
The Maritime Administrator's decision, and other key documents, will be 
filed in the public docket.
    The Deepwater Port Act imposes a strict timeline for processing an 
application. When MarAd and USCG determine that an application contains 
the required information, the Act directs that all public hearings on 
the application be concluded within 240 days after publication of this 
Notice of Application.
    Within 45 days after the final hearing, the Governor(s) of the 
Adjacent Coastal State(s), in this case the Governors of New York and 
New Jersey, may notify MarAd of their approval, approval with 
conditions, or disapproval of the application. MarAd may not issue a 
license without the explicit or presumptive approval of the Governor(s) 
of the adjacent coastal state(s). During this 45 day time period, the 
Governor(s) may also notify MarAd of inconsistencies between the 
application and State programs relating to environmental protection, 
land and water use, and coastal zone management. In this case, MarAd 
may condition the license to make it consistent with such state 
programs (33 U.S.C. 1508(b)(1)). MarAd will not consider written 
approvals or disapprovals of the application from Governors of Adjacent 
Coastal States until the 45-day period after the final public hearing.
    The Maritime Administrator must render a decision on the 
application within 90 days after the final hearing.
    Should a favorable record of decision be rendered and license be 
issued, MarAd may include specific conditions related to design, 
construction, operations, environmental permitting, monitoring and 
mitigations, and financial responsibilities. If a license is issued, 
USCG would oversee the review and approval of the deepwater port's 
engineering design and construction; operations/security procedures; 
waterways management and regulated navigation areas; maritime safety 
and security requirements; risk assessment; and compliance with 
domestic and international laws and regulations for vessels that may 
call on the port. The deepwater port would be designed, constructed and 
operated in accordance with applicable codes and standards.
    In addition, installation of pipelines and other structures, such 
as the Submerged Turret Loading buoys, may require permits under 
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and 
Harbors Act, which are administered by USACE.
    Permits from the EPA may also be required pursuant to the 
provisions of the Clean Air Act, as amended, and the Clean Water Act, 
as amended.

Summary of the Application

    Liberty Natural Gas, LLC is proposing to construct, own, and 
operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port, known as Port 
Ambrose, located in the New York Bight. The Port Ambrose facility will 
be located at a different proposed location and include a different 
design than the previous deepwater port license application submitted 
by Liberty Natural Gas, LLC in 2010. Port Ambrose would consist of two 
Submerged Turret Loading Buoys (STL Buoys) in Federal waters 
approximately 17 nautical miles southeast of Jones Beach, New York, 
approximately 24 nautical miles east of Long Branch, New Jersey, and 
about 27 nautical miles from the entrance to New York Harbor, in a 
water depth of approximately 103 feet.
    LNG would be delivered from purpose-built LNG regasification 
vessels (LNGRVs), vaporized on site and delivered through the STL 
buoys, flexible riser/umbilical, subsea manifold and lateral pipelines 
to a buried 19 nautical mile subsea Mainline connecting to the existing 
Transco Lower New York Bay Lateral in New York State waters 
approximately 2.2 nautical miles south of Long Beach, New York and 13 
nautical miles east of Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The buoys would be 
lowered to rest on a landing pad when not in use and would also include 
a pile-anchored mooring array. STL Buoy 1 is located at Latitude: 
40[deg]19'24.61'' N and Longitude: 73[deg]25'45.33'' W. STL Buoy 2 is 
located at Latitude: 40[deg]20'09.26'' N and Longitude 
73[deg]23'51.92'' W. The Port components would fall in the following 
U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease blocks:
    Buoy 1 (6708, 6709, 6758); Buoy 2 (6709); Lateral 1 (6708); Lateral 
2 (6708, 6709); ``Y'' Assembly (6708); Mainline Pipeline (6708, 6658, 
6657, 6607, 6606, 6556, 6555, 6554, 6504 and 6503).
    The 145,000 cubic meter LNGRVs would have onboard closed-loop 
vaporization and metering and odorant capability. Each vessel will have 
three vaporization units capable of a maximum send-out of 750 million 
standard cubic feet per day (MMscfd) (maximum pipeline system flow rate 
is 660 MMscfd with two buoys) with annual average expected to be 400 
MMscfd. The LNGRVs have been designed to utilize a ballast water 
cooling system that will entirely re-circulate onboard the vessel 
during Port operations, eliminating vessel discharges associated with 
regasification while at the Port. Deliveries through Port Ambrose would 
be focused during peak demand winter and summer months. The Port will 
receive up to 45 LNGRVs per year.
    As proposed, the LNGRVs would access the port inbound from the 
Hudson Canyon to Ambrose Traffic Lane and depart via the Ambrose to

[[Page 36016]]

Nantucket Traffic Lane. MarAd and USCG are aware that Port Ambrose 
falls within the proposed area of interest for the New York Power 
Authority Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Project. This project 
will be acknowledged and considered in the processing of the Port 
Ambrose application and NEPA analysis.
    If approved, the majority of the port and pipeline construction and 
installation is proposed to occur in 2015, with commissioning in 
December 2015.

Privacy Act

    The electronic form of all comments received into the Federal 
Docket Management System can be searched by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). The DOT Privacy Act 
Statement can be viewed in the Federal Register published on April 11, 
2000 (Volume 65, Number 70, pages 19477-78) or by visiting http://www.regulations.gov.

    Authority:  33. U.S.C. 1502, et seq.; 49 CFR 1.93(h).

    Dated: June 11, 2013.

    By Order of the Maritime Administrator.
Julie Agarwal,
Secretary, Maritime Administration.
[FR Doc. 2013-14203 Filed 6-13-13; 8:45 am]