Industries Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Gulf LNG Clean Energy Project (Docket Nos. CP06-12-000 and CP06-13-000)
Issued: November 24, 2006
FERC staff prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Gulf LNG Energy, LLC and Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC's (Gulf LNG) Gulf LNG Clean Energy Project. The purpose of the LNG Clean Energy Project is to provide a new, long-term, and timely source of natural gas to markets in the United States. To accomplish this purpose, Gulf LNG proposes to construct and operate a new LNG import terminal in the Port of Pascagoula in Jackson County, Mississippi that would include marine facilities for LNG ship unloading, LNG storage, and vaporization. Gulf LNG would also construct a new natural gas sendout pipeline to deliver natural gas to three points of interconnection along the proposed pipeline route. Gulf LNG's proposed facilities would have a maximum sendout capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.
To provide these services, Gulf LNG is requesting Commission approval under section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) for the LNG terminal consisting of the following facilities:
- A ship berth and unloading facilities (i.e., marine facilities) capable of accommodating one LNG ship;
- LNG transfer systems;
- Two 160,000 cubic meter full containment LNG storage tanks;
- 10 high-pressure submerged combustion vaporizers (SCV);
- Vapor handling systems; and
- Hazard detection and response equipment, ancillary utilities, buildings, and service facilities.
In addition, Gulf LNG is requesting Commission approval under section 7(c) of the NGA for pipeline facilities consisting of:
- A 5.0-mile-long, 36-inch-diameter natural gas sendout pipeline; and
- Associated pipeline support facilities, including three interconnects/meter stations, one pig launcher, and one pig receiver.
The Final EIS was prepared in coordination with our federal cooperating agencies for the Project: the U.S. Coast Guard (Coast Guard); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS); the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR); and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
We conclude that, with the use of Gulf LNG's proposed mitigation and adoption of our recommended mitigation measures, construction and operation of the proposed facilities would have limited adverse environmental impact. The impacts would be most significant during the construction period. As part of our analysis, we have developed specific mitigation measures that we believe to be appropriate and reasonable for construction and operation of the proposed project. We believe these measures would substantially reduce the environmental impact of the project. The primary reasons for our decision are:
- The LNG terminal facility would make use of a site previously used for dredged material placement;
- The LNG terminal facility would be located on lands designated for water-dependent industrial development with access to a deep water federal navigation channel;
- Gulf LNG would implement the FERC staff's Plan and Procedures to mitigate impacts on soils, wetlands, and waterbodies;
- Gulf LNG would implement approved Mitigation and Monitoring Plans to minimize and mitigate for impacts on wetlands, essential fish habitat, and Gulf sturgeon;
- Gulf LNG has routed the proposed natural gas sendout pipeline so that it would be collocated with existing facilities to the maximum extent possible;
- Appropriate consultations with the FWS; NMFS; and the MDMR Coastal Management Program could be completed before Gulf LNG would be allowed to begin construction;
- Appropriate safety features would be incorporated into the design and operation of the LNG import terminal and LNG ships;
- Operational controls may be imposed by the local pilots and Coast Guard to direct the movement of LNG ships and security provisions would be imposed to deter attacks by potential terrorists; and
- An environmental inspection and mitigation monitoring program would be implemented to ensure compliance with all mitigation measures that become conditions of any FERC authorization.