USCG Deepwater Ports Act (DWPA) - Temporary Interim Final Rule

As a follow-up of their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published in May 2002, the USCG issued a Temporary Interim Final Rule (TIFR) on 6 January 2004 with immediate implementation effect. The TIFR reflects public comments received in response to the NPRM but also contains new provisions to accommodate the use of deepwater ports to handle liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The additional provisions were introduced because the US Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002 amended the Deepwater Ports Act (DWPA) to also cover natural gas facilities. It is true that, so far, only one deepwater port has been constructed (LOOP). However, according to the explanatory notes given in the preamble of the TIFR, in the first three months following MTSA’s amendment of the DWPA, the Coast Guard became aware of about half a dozen potential applicants, and two applications for natural gas facilities were received within weeks of MTSA’s enactment.

The TIFR 69 Fed. Reg. 724 is effective from 6 January 2004 until 1 October 2006. Public comments to the TIFR are invited before 5 July 2004. The INTERTANKO Tanker Offshore Committee will be asked to consider whether the Association should make any comments.

Contact: Dragos Rauta