INCOMPETENCE - First nat. gas tanker due to enter Boston harbor since 9/11greenspun.com : LUSENET : Current News - Homefront Preparations : One Thread
That's Mayor Mumbles Menino I'm referring to. He's jeopardizing our heating fuel supplies for this winter, and throwing snits that some of the suburban school districts have curbed any field trips into his great city, that he says is perfectly safe except for the possibility that it might blow up. Jerk!
Judge clears way for tanker to enter harbor Coast Guard to close harbor to commuter vessels
By John McElhenny, Associated Press, 10/29/01
BOSTON -- A federal judge cleared the way Monday for a liquefied natural gas tanker to enter Boston Harbor, ruling that the city of Boston did not show enough proof that the tanker could be a threat.
Hours later, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said the Coast Guard was closing Boston Harbor to commuter boats beginning at 7 p.m. Monday for what is expected to be the first shipment to arrive since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The Coast Guard would not comment.
"We have security and operational concerns we're trying to safeguard," said Coast Guard spokesman Steve Sapp. "We're going to keep telling everybody the same thing until they wake up and see the ship over in Everett."
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino had asked a federal judge to ban LNG tankers from entering the harbor because of fears of a possible terrorist attack on the ships and their highly flammable cargoes.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Reginald Lindsay refused that request, saying the city had failed to show that the tanker, Matthew, a 900-foot vessel registered in the Bahamas, posed an immediate threat to the city.
"I'm not a lawyer, but I'm a little puzzled given the serious nature of the risk, that this decision came down," said Boston Fire Chief Paul Christian.
The Coast Guard, which has jurisdiction over interstate commerce in federal waters such as the Harbor, said its security measures are sufficient to ensure the safety of the tankers.
Mayor Tom Menino said after the court ruling that he had asked President Bush's homeland security chief, Tom Ridge, to personally intervene.
The tankers had been banned from the harbor since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, but the Coast Guard lifted the ban on Oct. 16 after consulting with the U.S. Department of Energy and local police and fire departments.
A 95-page security report prepared by Lloyds' Register of Shipping in Europe concluded that a terrorist attack on an LNG tanker would not result in a catastrophic explosion or fire and would not endanger the lives of people in cities near the harbor.
Merita Hopkins, attorney for the City of Boston, criticized the Coast Guard for refusing to share details of its security plan with the city, even as they briefed members of acting Gov. Jane Swift's staff.
Boston firefighters and police officers cannot guarantee the safety of people and property along Boston Harbor if they don't know what the Coast Guard's safety plan is, Hopkins said.
"There has been no briefing. There has been no dry run," she said. "In other words, there has been no plan."
George Henderson, an assistant U.S. attorney representing the Coast Guard, said the Coast Guard could not disclose details of its security plan without compromising the tankers' security.
Those details include the number of armed ships that accompany the tankers, the type of weapons they carry, and their location, Henderson said.
Hopkins said the city had not decided if it would appeal. She also questioned the city's authority and ability to fight fires in the harbor, if the judge's decision makes the harbor the responsibility of the Coast Guard.
"We're tasked with protecting life and property on the water, yet we have no authority," Hopkins said. "I don't understand it."
-- Anonymous, October 29, 2001
well, without the tanker, what are they expecting people to do? Just shut up and freeze?
I should think they coast guard could manage the safety concerns okay by now.
Guess we'll see soon enough!
As a precaution, I suggest you leave town while the ship is there. LOL
-- Anonymous, October 29, 2001