On July 13, 2009, MARAD and the U.S Coast Guard published notice in the Federal Register of the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Port Dolphin LNG Deepwater Port license application. The project proposes a deepwater port in the St. Petersburg block of the Outer Continental Shelf. The port would consist of a permanently moored unloading buoy system designed to moor a specialized type of LNG vessel called Shuttle and Regasification Vessels, which have capacities of 145,000 and 217,000 cubic meters. The unloading buoys would connect to a pipeline onshore in Port Manatee, Florida, which would connect with the Gulfstream Natural Gas System and Tampa Electric Company. The project will require approval from FERC for the onshore pipelines, potential permits from the Army Corps of Engineers for the pipeline and structures, and permits from the EPA under the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
Public hearing will take place in Palmetto, Florida on July 28, 2009. Comments on the FEIS or the application are due by August 23, 2009. As explained in the notice, the FEIS should be accessible soon in Docket No. USCG-2006-28532 on www.regulations.gov.