Despite objections from City and State officials, the U.S. Coast Guard announced their decision today to allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers from Yemen to travel through Boston Harbor to the Everett terminal. The shipments from Yemen became a concern after the Christmas Day attempt to destroy a U.S. flight going to Detroit. The incident was tied to al-Qaida activity in Yemen, where terrorist cells are believe to exist.
About 30 shipments from Yemen to Boston are expected annually during a 20-year contract with the company. Critics of the deliveries have raised the specter of a massive fireball engulfing waterfront neighborhoods if one of the tankers were successfully detonated as it passed by.
Once the ship arrives, it will be required to stop in an area about five to seven miles offshore while the Coast Guard ensures it has maintained proper security. Coast Guard officials will also board the ship to conduct their own inspection and could do underwater searches of the ship’s hull.
According to the Coast Guard, “LNG tankers are extremely safe and there has never been a major incident onboard a tanker since they started shipping the potentially explosive cargo 50 years ago.”
View the WBZ-TV video report at their website.