A recent cartoon by Ted Michener published in the St. Croix Courier begs responses to the question it leaves unanswered:
“If large Cruise ships can come through Head Harbour Passage, what’s so wrong with LNG tankers?”
The answers are two-fold:
1. In case of an accident or terrorist attack, LNG Tankers carry huge amounts of condensed gas (LNG or Liquified Natural Gas) that has the potential to destroy virtually all of the islands and mainland adjacent to Head Harbour Passage. Cruise ships, on the other hand, carry none of these catastrophic risks.
2. When LNG tankers hold over or pass through these waters there is a legally dictated exclusion zone that will preclude activities by local fishing interests, ferries, commercial shipping traffic, whale watching, and aquaculture interests. Depending on the amount of tanker traffic and layovers occurring off Campobello, in Friar’s Bay and in Passamaquoddy Bay, traditional commercial activities could be virtually shut down. Cruise ships carry no exclusion zone laws except those that exist for navigation.
Detailed answers to these issues are provided below.
Details on LNG tanker safety:
Details on economic losses: