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An LNG Security And Cost Primer

   The facts stated here are from the “Report of Findings, LNG Security Procedures of an LNG Site in Everett, Mass.”
   This recent report of findings was done at the request of Gov. Baldacci, by the Commissioner of Public Safety – Michael Cantara and sent to Chief Counsel Kurt Davis and Governor Baldacci’s senior policy advisor Alan Stearns.
   The excerpts below are from that report.

   Another security “bubble” or perimeter is established at the 1000-yard mark, from the transport tanker. This 1000-yard bubble is comprised of, four Mass. State Police boats (two forward and two aft), one Boston PD boat to the port side, and one Environmental Police boat on the starboard side. These vessels will approach a suspect vessel and attempt to “chase” it from the area. These vessels operate under existing rules of engagement with respect to the use of deadly force previously established by their respective agencies.
   In addition to water assets, the Massachusetts State Police has the responsibility to shut down traffic on the Tobin Bridge while the tanker is in close proximity to it. A State Police Helicopter hovers and provides observation from the time the tanker is met outside the Harbor until it is docked. Boston Police Department has the responsibility of closing all adjacent roads and wharfs that lead to the Harbor. There are police units stationed at each of these access points from the time the tanker enters the Harbor to the time it docks, approximately two hours. Boston Police Department estimates that it ties up 20 - 30 members per trip (Inbound/Outbound).
   Boston Fire Department devotes one person to the Unified Command Post but stays at normal operating levels. If there is an incident, Boston Fire has a mutual aid pact with the adjacent towns. The fire departments involved would call for every available asset and would use water and foam to put out the fire.
   To date, the Massachusetts State Police Criminal Division has logged 40 - 50 reports of suspicious persons and/or incidents. These situations include foreign nationals taking pictures of the tanker, security detail and the Tobin Bridge. Foreign nationals have also been seen taking pictures of the container yard, which is at the mouth of Boston Harbor. The State Police only handles complaints that it receives directly and they have no information of additional complaints reported to USCG, the FBI or Boston Police Department.
   Although it fluctuates, the financial impact on the Massachusetts State Police has been astronomical. The overtime costs associated with the trips since October 2001 is 1.2 million dollars. This figure does not include operational costs associated with the State Police assets involved. Specifically, the average number of overtime hours per LNG delivery = 231.14 hours at an average cost of $11,960.55 per trip (these figures are for the Massachusetts State Police only // average OT rate for FY 03 04 is $52.50 per hour). Boston Police Department uses existing personnel for their part to defray some of the costs, however specific figures are unavailable at this time.
   Distigas is currently negotiating with the State of Massachusetts regarding compensation for State Police assets used for security. Distigas has agreed in principle to compensate the State for a percentage of these services.
   Representatives from the Boston Fire Department, Massachusetts State Police as well as the United States Coast Guard were asked their impressions with respect to the realistic threat to public safety. All three of the agencies had an understanding that the likelihood of a hull breach was unlikely, however; they did report that the threat from fire is their primary concern. They advised that LNG burns at an extremely high temperature and if left unchecked will cause the hull of the tanker or the structure of Tobin Bridge, to melt. If an impact large enough to puncture the hull were possible, the impression is that the product would pour out in liquid form, most likely freezing everything around it. If a secondary ignition source was present, however, the LNG could ignite and would burn.