Process Overview

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:

  1. To ensure that federal agencies consider the potential environmental effects of proposed programs, projects, and actions before initiating them.
  2. 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.


 
 

Interactive Project Map


Public Involvement
and Virtual Meetings

The MARAD and USCG are committed to providing meaningful public involvement in the NEPA process, while also ensuring protection of human health during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. The scoping period for the Project ended on December 5, 2020. Two virtual scoping meetings were held on December 2 and 3, 2020. Transcripts of those meetings may be found in the Resources area of this section.

RESOURCES

Public Involvement Activities Fact Sheet Timeline

MEETING TRANSCRIPTS

Coming Soon


BMOP Project Overview

Blue Marlin Offshore Port, LLC, seeks approval to construct and operate a crude oil export deepwater port (DWP) in the Gulf of Mexico offshore Cameron Parish, Louisiana for exporting domestically produced crude oil. The project includes a new approximately 37.0-mile-long, 42-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline to connect the existing Nederland Terminal in Jefferson County and through Orange County, Texas, to the existing 36-inch-diameter Stingray Pipeline at Station 501 in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. See the Project Overview Presentation for more details.

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Formal Comment Submission

If you have a comment you would like added to the formal docket please click the button below to visit Regulations.gov.
 
Link to Regulations.gov

BMOP Deepwater Port Application

Volume I: General (Public), including Deepwater Port License Application and Appendices