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Judge allows gas tanker to pass through Boston

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- A U.S. District judge Monday denied an injunction that would have prevented a tanker carrying 33 million gallons of liquefied natural gas from entering Boston Harbor.

The U.S. Coast Guard had stopped such deliveries after the terrorist attack in New York, but recently lifted the ban. The city of Boston opposes the move, saying the U.S. Coast Guard has not shared its plan on how to deal with tanker emergencies with the city and its fire and police departments.

The city had filed an injunction Friday with U.S. District Judge Reginald Lindsay, asking him to stop the tanker, Matthew, from entering the harbor.

Boston Fire Chief Paul Christian said information on an emergency plan city officials got from the Coast Guard "was very insipid and generic and didn't address specific concerns."

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said after the ruling, "we didn't lose, the public interest lost."

He said more information is needed from the Coast Guard and he has asked Homeland Security Tom Ridge to intervene.

He said the city is not ruling out further legal action.

Boston officials are not singling out this particular tanker, but are generally concerned about emergency plans for all ships.

The liquefied gas is being shipped to Mystic River gas terminal in Everett, Massachusetts, from Trinidad.

The Matthew would be the first LNG tanker since the September 11 attacks allowed by the Coast Guard to pass through the harbor on the way to the terminal.



Greta@LAW