Issue Date: January 8, 2007
Better security urged for LNG plants
Following a break-in at a Massachusetts liquid natural gas (LNG) storage plant, the Department of Transportation is calling on U.S. LNG facility owners and operators to reexamine their compliance with security regulations. Last August, two people cut through two fences and a locked gate; entered the Lynn, Mass., KeySpan LNG storage facility; and climbed on top of a 12,000-gal supercooled storage tank. The incident went unnoticed for five days, despite routine perimeter inspections and a system to monitor intrusions. The break-in was recorded on tape but was ignored, as were the cut fences. The plant has been fined $250,000 by the state. KeySpan operates nine other LNG storage facilities in Massachusetts, which is also home to a terminal to receive LNG imports from abroad. The security concerns come at a time when high natural gas prices have encouraged many companies to propose new projects to increase LNG imports to the U.S. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. has five operating LNG terminals, but another 65 are proposed to serve the U. S. market. Inadequate security and fear of explosions are among concerns often raised at public hearings on the projects (C&EN, April 25, 2005, page 19).
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