Looking to ease problems from potential accidents, Sound Energy Solutions revealed new plans to pipe directly to refineries some of the more dangerous elements of the liquefied natural gas it wants to import to Long Beach. The new plans were revealed July 13 on the eve of a closed-door meeting between SES and federal energy regulators. The proposed modifications?which will be outlined in a plan amendment to be filed soon with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission?come under a nonbinding memorandum of understanding between SES and ConocoPhillips, which operates two oil refineries in neighboring Wilmington and Carson. Specifically, propane and ethane would be stripped out of LNG shipped to the proposed Sound Energy terminal and sent instead to the ConocoPhillips refineries. This would eliminate on-site storage tanks for the compounds, as well as the need for trucks to take the products to various buyers in California, said Tom Giles, managing director of SES. Giles discussed the changes while hosting FERC staff and a wide range of community members on a tour of the site for the proposed terminal. He said eliminating the tanks would enhance safety and reducing truck traffic would decrease air pollution. Giles also said that to address air-quality problems, trucks that carry LNG from the facility to various fueling facilities for liquefied gas vehicles in the Los Angeles area would be powered by cleaner-burning natural gas. The tour?also attended by Port of Long Beach and California Public Utilities Commission staff members?was intended to boost confidence in the viability of the site among regulators and residents. Although the terminal is near downtown Long Beach, the view from the site itself is mainly of neighboring port terminals that, by comparison, are sparsely populated with workers. Terry Martin, Steamfitters and Refrigeration Union Local 250 business manager, said union workers would operate the terminal safely. SES parent company Mitsubishi regularly ships LNG into Tokyo, where there are five terminals on a busy bay and 25 million inhabitants, said Hiroki Haba, senior vice president for Sound Energy. In some 40 years of operations there, he said, the company has never had an incident. The meeting this week on Sound Energy?s plan was open only to intervenors in the LNG terminal proceeding before the federal commission (<i>Circuit<\/i>, July 2, 2004). Its chief focus was on the engineering aspects of the cryogenic systems for the proposed facility, said Jeffrey Adler, a company spokesperson. Everybody attending the meeting, including community members opposed to the facility, had to sign a nondisclosure agreement under FERC?s Critical Energy Infrastructure Information rules.