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House of Commons Hansard
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Liquefied Natural Gas
26 November 2009
Volume 501
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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what recent representations he has received on the safety of liquefied natural gas shipping in UK waters; [301428]

(2) what recent representations he has received on the matter of risk assessment in respect of liquefied natural gas operations.

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In the last three years the Department for Transport has received representations about the safety of liquefied natural gas shipping in UK waters from four correspondents. At least one of these was a spokesman for the local campaign group 'Safe Haven'. We have also received an e-petition with 251 signatures and a copy of the report produced by Dr. R. A. Cox about the approach and use of risk assessments by the port authority.

The Department does not hold any risk assessments or studies produced by the port authority, other than those which are already in the public domain.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the role is of the (a) Health and Safety Executive, (b) Marine and Coastguard Agency and (c) Environment Agency in respect of liquefied natural gas terminal operations in the UK. [301430]

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Environment Agency (EA) together form the 'Competent Authority' under the COMAH regulations (Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999). They assess the pre-construction and pre-operation safety reports from companies wishing to establish liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. HSE also undertake regular inspections of the site during its construction, and carry out further inspections at the site throughout its operational life to ensure the operator continues to run the site safely.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is responsible for the regulation of safety of vessels at sea, including LNG tankers for compliance with internationally agreed safety, security and environmental standards. The MCA surveys vessels registered in the UK and inspects foreign-flagged vessels visiting UK ports. They also check whether crew members have adequate living and working conditions.