Philadelphia-Area Guardian of the Ports Looks Back

A look at how Jonathan Sarubbi secured the Delaware River corridor in the wake of 9/11

Scott, who was unavailable for an interview, does not take over his duties as captain of the Philadelphia port until Friday. But in testimony last February before the Senate energy and natural resources committee, he said the Coast Guard had established special security precautions for liquefied natural gas tankers.

Since 9/11, Coast Guard officers board liquefied natural gas tankers at sea to escort them to terminals and ensure "positive control," Scott testified.

He added, however, that with projects for new terminals, companies will have to state the extent of Coast Guard, federal, state and local resources that will be necessary to ensure the safe passage of tankers. Sponsors, too, will have to ensure that there are sufficient resources for handling an accident.

"The issue of constructing new shoreside LNG terminals has been controversial, due in large part to public concerns over the safety and security of LNG vessel operations," Scott said.

He explained that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission exercises authority over the siting of liquefied natural gas terminals, but the Coast Guard weighs in on whether a waterway is suitable for liquefied natural gas vessels.

Sarubbi would not speculate on whether the Delaware River was a suitable waterway for liquefied natural gas traffic.

But given all the interest in building liquefied natural gas terminals on the Delaware, the question will have to be answered under Scott.