Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal


Linda Krop


This Article explores the general role of coastal states in permitting offshore LNG terminals, and the specific role that California played in the licensing process for the proposed Cabrillo Port LNG project. There are many facets of state authority, including the approvals required for the portions of LNG projects located within a coastal state’s jurisdiction (primarily within the first three miles offshore), the application of state laws to proposals to construct offshore LNG facilities under the DWPA, the authority of the governor of the adjacent coastal state to approve or “disapprove” deepwater port projects, and the right of a coastal state to review federal LNG applications for consistency with the state’s coastal management program. The last right is granted under the federal CZMA, which is a primary focus of this discussion.

Part I explores the history and authority of the DWPA, as well as its relationship to other federal and state laws. Part II discusses the role of the Coastal Zone Management Act. Part III examines a case study of the Cabrillo Port LNG proposal in Southern California. Part IV analyzes important lessons learned from the Cabrillo Port case study, including the importance of public input and participation. Part V concludes with a summary of the importance of state involvement in LNG licensing decisions.