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Florida Denied Adjacent Coastal State Status in Gulf Deepwater Ports Decision

June 1976

Citation: ELR 10123

Secretary of Transportation William Coleman refused on March 25, 1976, to designate Florida and Mississippi as "adjacent coastal states" under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974,1 thereby effectively denying those states a right to delay or to veto the Secretary's ultimate decision on the applications of Louisiana Offshore Oil Project (LOOP), Inc., and SEADOCK, Inc., to construct and operate deepwater port facilities off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.2 Instead, the Secretary promised to "give the fullest consideration" to concerns expressed by the states of Florida and Mississippi about possible adverse environmental impacts to their coastal areas from oil spills caused by the two ports.3

LOOP and SEADOCK submitted applications on December 30, 1975—one year after enactment of the Deepwater Port Act and less than two months after promulgation of regulations implementing the statute—in which they sought licenses to construct and operate single point mooring facilities in 110 feet of water, 18 miles off the Louisiana coast (LOOP)4 and 26 miles off the Texas coast (SEADOCK).5 The proposed facilities would be connected to shore by large-diameter underwater pipelines6 and would open the United States to very large crude carriers (VLCC's), popularly denoted supertankers.

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