Port License Application Blue Marlin Offshore
Project Proposed Action Deepwater Port Action
and Licensing Process NEPA Process for
Deepwater Port Applications Deepwater Port
Record of Decision,
and Post Licensing
Blue Marlin Deepwater Port License Application
On October 1, 2020, the Maritime Administration (MARAD), an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) received an application from Blue Marlin Offshore Port, LLC (Blue Marlin or the Applicant) to develop the Blue Marlin Offshore Port (BMOP or the Project).
Blue Marlin is proposing to construct, own, and operate a deepwater port in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico and associated offshore and onshore facilities, including conversion of existing infrastructure and construction of new infrastructure. The Applicant is proposing the new deepwater port to provide safe and reliable long-term crude oil transportation and loading services for oil produced in the continental U.S. for export to the global market. Proposed timing of the Project includes the initiation of construction in the fourth quarter of 2021 with Project in-service in the third quarter of 2023.
The Blue Marlin Offshore Port license application may be viewed under Regulatory Resources (in this section), on the Federal Docket and at the following public libraries:
Jefferson County, TX: Port Arthur Public Library
4615 9th Ave, Port Arthur, TX 77642
Orange County, TX: Orange Public Library
220 5th St, Orange, TX 77630
Blue Marlin Offshore Port Project Proposed Action
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), in coordination with the Maritime Administration (MARAD), is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Proposed Action in accordance with the Deepwater Port Act (DWPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and applicable regulations.
MARAD may approve the license, deny the license, or approve the license with conditions for the proposed Blue Marlin Offshore Port (BMOP) Project. The EIS will assist the Maritime Administrator in deciding whether to approve the license application for the proposed Project.
Deepwater Port Action and Licensing Process
The Deepwater Port Act establishes a licensing system for ownership, construction, operation, and eventual decommissioning of deepwater ports located beyond the seaward boundaries of a State that are used to import or export oil or natural gas to or from the U.S. The U.S. Department of Transportation, via the Maritime Administration (MARAD), licenses all deepwater ports. This process mandates compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
NEPA Process for Deepwater Port Applications
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was passed in 1969 and has two major objectives:
- To ensure that federal agencies consider the potential environmental effects of proposed programs, projects, and actions before initiating them.
- To inform the public and to encourage and facilitate public involvement in federal agency activities that may affect the quality of the human environment.
Guidelines for federal agencies to implement NEPA were established in regulations by the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in 40 CFR 1500-1508. In addition, the USCG has issued implementing procedures and policy for considering environmental impacts under NEPA and related laws.
Documents prepared under NEPA can include a Categorical Exclusion, an Environmental Assessment (EA), or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). When a Proposed Action has the potential for significant impacts on the quality of the human environment, an EIS, the most detailed analysis conducted under NEPA, is prepared.
Deepwater Port Record of Decision, License Conditions, and Post Licensing Requirements
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issues a Record of Decision (ROD) for each deepwater port license application. MARAD’s decision to issue a license, issue a license with conditions, or deny the license will be based on the nine criteria contained in Section l 503(c) of the Deepwater Port Act.