SOS. Reason to Doubt BHP LNG EIR


In the BHP LNG Draft EIS/EIR there is a blatant attempt to allay concerns about LNG being released by collisions with an LNG carrier. In section 4.2 Public Safety: Hazards and Risk Analysis, it states: “In 2002, the LNG ship Norman Lady collided with a U.S. Navy submarine, the U.S.S. Oklahoma City, east of the Strait of Gibraltar. (No LNG was released in this event.) This provides a general understanding that while collisions with LNG carriers are possible, they have been relatively rare and have not resulted in the release of LNG.”

Such analysis might cause an unknowing person to conclude, “Wow, LNG carriers can take a big hit, even from a submarine, and not release any LNG. Supertankers have Superman-like invulnerability.”

The fact is there was no LNG on board the Norman Lady at the time of the incident.

According to CNN on Nov. 15, 2002,”The company said the vessel, which had just unloaded a cargo of explosive natural gas in Barcelona, Spain, struck a submerged object.”

The drafters of the BHP EIS/EIR should have known there was no LNG on the carrier at the time of the incident, yet they emphasized, “No LNG was released in this event.”

Of course, no LNG was released-it had already been unloaded!

Second of all, the collision was a “rising to periscope depth” scraping of the tanker hull according to CNN; and according to the Portland Press Herald, “Damage to both vessels was minor.”

The BHP EIS/EIR reporting of the incident is flawed and misleading, thus the report’s “Risk Evaluation” is equally flawed and misleading.

Was their blatant mischaracterization of the incident incompetence or was it intentional?

In either case, their credibility is highly suspect and cause for grave concern.

The report appears to be a shameful attempt to minimize the scope of LNG carrier hazards, and is an obvious attempt to discredit the 1977 Oxnard LNG EIR carrier collision analysis, which determined 70,000 casualties could occur.

Appear at the public hearings and contact Gov. Schwarzenegger who can approve or disapprove the BHP and Crystal Energy offshore LNG guinea pig projects.

Tim Riley

Consumer protection attorney, Oxnard