2009 -- S 0449

Enacted 02/25/09



S E N A T E  R E S O L U T I O N







     Introduced By: Senators C Levesque, Bates, Felag, and DaPonte

     Date Introduced: February 25, 2009



     WHEREAS, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a highly volatile and combustible liquid

form of natural gas; and

     WHEREAS, A proposal to store LNG in large quantities at a facility at Weaver’s Cove,

Fall River, Massachusetts is pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and

     WHEREAS, The location of this facility is in a densely populated area of the community

of Fall River potentially affecting the lives and property of more than 59,000 people; and

     WHEREAS, The proponent of the Weaver’s Cove facility has described a fire at the

proposed facility as being likened to a “giant Roman candle”; and

     WHEREAS, A fire at this facility would result in immense destruction and devastation to

an area of up to three miles away from the facility; and

     WHEREAS, LNG stored at this facility would be transported by supertankers up to 1,000

feet long, 150 feet wide and 130 feet high carrying 38 million gallons of LNG into and on

Narragansett Bay and Mt. Hope Bay; and

     WHEREAS, These tankers would make trips into and on Narragansett Bay and Mt. Hope

Bay every 5 days; and

     WHEREAS, The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard has stated that his

agency cannot guarantee the safety and security of harbors from a terrorist on a suicide mission;


     WHEREAS, The events of September 11, 2001 have raised concerns about the potential

for terrorist attacks on the energy infrastructure of the United States; and

     WHEREAS, The possibility of the use of a “boat bomb” such as was used against the

USS Cole in 2000 and the oil tanker Limburg in 2002 to attack a liquid fuel tanker in a United

States harbor has been publicly discussed in Massachusetts where (LNG) tankers land cargoes in

Boston Harbor; and

     WHEREAS, The consequences of such an incident could be severe and present a

potential problem of great magnitude for public safety officials; and

     WHEREAS, The concerns for the public safety stem from the effects of the burning of an

LNG tankers’ combustible liquid cargo; and

     WHEREAS, The ensuing fire can spread on the sea surface toward nearby shorelines and

its thermal radiation could produce second and third degree burns within thirteen seconds to

exposed individuals on shore; and

     WHEREAS, The ensuing fire could spread on the sea towards the nearby shoreline and

its thermal radiation could set fire to wooden structures on shore within forty seconds; and

     WHEREAS, The federally required “safety zone” around an LNG supertanker would be

up to two miles ahead of the supertanker, one mile astern, and 1,000 yards on either side; and

     WHEREAS, All commercial and recreational boaters would be cleared out of the safety

zone while an LNG supertanker is proceeding to its destination; and

     WHEREAS, The bridges along the route of an LNG supertanker would be closed

resulting in great disruption and inconvenience to motorists; and

     WHEREAS, LNG supertankers entering Rhode Island water every five days would have

a negative impact upon Rhode Island’s tourism economy, fishing and marine industries as well as

posing tremendous threats to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens living, working and

recreating along the route of an LNG supertanker; and

     WHEREAS, Communities along the route of an LNG supertanker will be required to

bear the cost and burden for providing police and fire personnel without compensation; and

     WHEREAS, To accommodate the LNG supertankers, a portion of Mt. Hope Bay would

have to be dredged, resulting in a compromising of the fragile ecosystem of Mt. Hope Bay; and

     WHEREAS, Weaver’s Cove Energy, LLC is now proposing to offload LNG on an

offshore berthing platform to be located in Mt. Hope Bay; and

     WHEREAS, This offshore berthing platform will pose a safety hazard to the

communities located around Mt. Hope Bay; and

     WHEREAS, This proposed offshore berthing platform will pose an environmental risk to

the ecosystem of Mt. Hope Bay as the LNG supertankers will be traveling to this facility from

foreign ports bringing with them microorganisms not indigenous to Narragansett Bay and Mt.

Hope Bay; and

     WHEREAS, A one mile safety and security zone will have to be maintained for twenty-

four hours while the LNG supertanker is offloaded; and

     WHEREAS, Commercial and recreational boating will be prohibited from entering the

safety and security zone, resulting in a major disruption for use of Mt. Hope Bay by citizens and

business people; and

     WHEREAS, Located in Mt. Hope Bay is Spar Island, which is a habitat for seals, and

intrusion into this habitat is a violation of the United States Marine Mammal Protection Act; and

     WHEREAS, Below Mt. Hope Bay lies an earthquake fault, and seismic activity has

already occurred; and

     WHEREAS, The regional requirements for natural gas are being met by the LNG

offloading facility located in the waters off the cost of Gloucester, Massachusetts; now, therefore

be it

     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

expresses its utmost opposition to the ill-conceived and unnecessary proposals to construct an

LNG storage facility in Fall River, Massachusetts along with the construction of an LNG offshore

berthing platform in Mt. Hope Bay as well as the transportation of LNG in and on the waters of

the State of Rhode Island including Narragansett Bay and Mt. Hope Bay; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,

the Congressional delegations of the State of Rhode Island and Commonwealth of Massachusetts

and the Governors of the State of Rhode Island and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.