Save Passamaquoddy Bay

Save Passamaquoddy Bay
3-Nation Alliance

Alliance to Protect the Quoddy Region
from LNG Development

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"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
                                           — US Senator Susan Collins, 2012 Jun 21


"Zones of Concern" Terminology

Exclusion Zones
Hazard Zones & Zones of Concern
Safety and/or Security Zones

The following information was provided to us by US Coast Guard Captain Stephen Garrity on 2006 May 18. Captain Garrity is the Captain of the Port in charge of the the two Passamaquoddy Bay LNG projects' Waterway Suitability Study being conducted for FERC.

Exclusion Zones

As per ref (a), 193.2007 Definitions: "Exclusion zone" means an area surrounding an LNG facility in which an operator or government agency legally controls all activities in accordance with 193.2057 and 193.2059 for as long as the facility is in operation. 193.2057 states that each LNG container and transfer system must have a thermal exclusion zone in accordance with NFPA standards and Gas Research Institute (GRI) determinations. 193.2059 states that each container and LNG transfer system must have a dispersion exclusion zone, also in accordance with NFPA standards and GSI determinations.

The term exclusion zone should not be construed as specifically meaning "prohibited entry"; rather, as defined in regulation, it’s a specified area surrounding an LNG facility in which the operator or government agency manages all actions.


Hazard Zones & Zones of Concern

The Dept. of Energy requested that Sandia National Laboratories develop guidance on a risk-based analysis approach to assess and quantify potential threats to an LNG ship, the potential hazards and consequences of a large spill, and review prevention and mitigation strategies that could be implemented to reduce both, the potential for and risks of, an LNG spill over water. Accidental and intentional LNG cargo tank scenarios and modeling of potential spill hazards were used to determine the extent and severity of LNG spill consequences. Based on the analysis of the modeling results, three consequence-based hazard zones were identified, and risk-reduction and mitigation techniques were recognized to reduce impacts on public safety and property. Using a worst case scenario intentional LNG spill, the Sandia Labs identified three concentric "Zones of Concern" which could be placed around an LNG tanker to determine the extent and severity of the spill by consequence (i.e., potential hazard to public and property). Zone 1, the area closest to the vessel, is defined as the area with the most severe consequences and poses the greatest threat to public safety and property. This zone is considered to extend out about 0.3 miles from the tanker (source). Zone 2 is the next periphery ring, and poses fewer consequences and public threat to health and property. This zone is considered to extend out from 0.3 miles to 1 mile. And lastly, zone 3, which is the outer periphery ring, is the area least likely to suffer severe consequences and is considered to extend from 1 mile to 2.2 miles.

Hazard zones and zones of concern are not regulatory in nature — they exist only as a means for calculating risks and as a health and property endangerment assessment tool.

WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS: Outside of Zone 3, 1st-degree burns can still occur to exposed skin, and 2nd-degree burns may occur with exposure longer than 30 seconds. Within Zone 3, 2nd-degree burns to exposed skin will occur within 30 seconds. (Longer exposure can result in 3rd-degree burns.)

Also, Sandia National Laboratories' "worst case scenario" was not truely the worst possibility, since their scenario accounts for only partial loss of LNG from the LNG ship. Some LNG safety experts believe that it is possible for an intentional attack to cause a cascading loss of LNG containment compartments, resulting in a complete loss of ship and cargo, with accompanying greater thermal radiation effects. (Read LNG safety expert Distinguished Professor of Engineering Jerry Havens' comments in the 2006 May 19 Daily Astorian article, "LNG expert warns of ‘half-mile-wide’ fire."

Read the Burn Survivor Resource Center information about 1st-degree burns, 2nd-degree burns, and 3rd-degree burns.


Safety and/or Security Zones

Regulations in 33 CFR Part 6 provide for the protection and security of vessels, harbors, and waterfront facilities. Under 33 CFR 6.04-1 and 6.04-8, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) is authorized to control the movement of vessels within his/her COTP zone, whenever such action is necessary to prevent damage or injury to a vessel, waterfront facility, or waters of the U.S., or to secure the rights and obligations of the U.S. These authorities provide that the vessel traffic controls may be imposed in areas determined to be hazardous, or under conditions of reduced visibility, adverse weather, vessel congestion, or other hazardous circumstances by specifying times of vessel(s) movement; establishing a vessel traffic scheme; or restricting vessel size, speed, draft, or operating conditions.

Safety and Security Zones can be either stationary, moving, or any combination thereof to meet varying circumstances.

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