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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Media News Releases Archives April–June 2006

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News Release: May 2, 2006 Print this page

Commission establishes LNG Compliance Branch

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher today announced the establishment of a new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Compliance Branch within the Office of Energy Projects to further the Commission's mission to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible construction and operation of LNG facilities.

“The Commission has become a focal point for assuring that our nation's delivery infrastructure for clean natural gas is met. This will only continue as the industry seeks to ensure adequate LNG import capacity to meet our nation's needs,” Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher said. “We previously established the LNG Engineering Branch to centralize the Commission's LNG engineering expertise. This restructuring will better position the Commission as its inspection and compliance workload grows with the increase in LNG import capacity.”

The LNG Compliance Branch will be responsible for the Commission's continued safety inspections and oversight of operating LNG facilities. The staff, comprised of LNG engineers, civil and mechanical engineers, and other experts, will also review final facility design and engineering compliance with Commission orders. Chris Zerby has been appointed Chief of the new branch.

Mr. Zerby has been a member of the Commission's staff since 1975, performing environmental, design, and safety reviews and analyses primarily of LNG and interstate natural gas pipeline project proposals. He received a Masters of Science degree in 1974 from the University of Maryland in civil engineering after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University. He was appointed in 2004 to head the then newly formed LNG Engineering branch within OEP.

Terry Turpin has been appointed Acting Chief of the LNG Engineering Branch, replacing Zerby. This branch is charged with conducting thorough reviews and analyses of LNG proposals; preparing environmental, security and safety impact statements published for public review and comment; monitoring projects during construction; and conducting annual/biennial inspections of facility operations.

Mr. Turpin, who has been a member of the Commission staff since 1998, received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1992 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is a Registered Professional Engineer. During his tenure at FERC, Mr. Turpin has analyzed the design, safety and environmental aspects of LNG import terminals and peak-shaving plant proposals; performed thermal radiation and vapor dispersion modeling; and conducted annual/biennial inspections of facility operations.

Both the new LNG Compliance Branch and the LNG Engineering Branch will work together and will continue coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Transportation and other federal, state and local agencies to address safety and security at LNG facilities.

There are currently 17 operating LNG import and peak-shaving facilities under FERC jurisdiction and subject to its inspection program. Five of the eight FERC-approved import terminals are under construction. There are currently under FERC review 19 proposals for new LNG facilities.


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