Industries Environmental Documents
FERC Staff Issues the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Driftwood LNG LLC and Driftwood Pipeline LLC, collectively Driftwood (FERC Docket Nos. CP17-117-000 and CP17-118-000)
Issued: September 14, 2018
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Driftwood LNG Project (Project). Driftwood LNG LLC and Driftwood Pipeline LLC, collectively Driftwood, request authorization (FERC Docket Nos. CP17-117-000 and CP17-118-000) to site, construct, and operate liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities and certain interstate, natural gas transmission pipeline facilities in Evangeline, Acadia, Jefferson Davis, and Calcasieu Parishes, Louisiana. The Project would provide gas and processing to produce up to 27.6 million tonnes per annum of LNG for export.
The Driftwood LNG Project consists of two main components: 1) the construction and operation of the LNG Facility, which includes five LNG plant facilities to liquefy natural gas, three tanks to store the LNG, LNG carrier loading/berthing facilities (Marine Facility), and other appurtenant facilities at a site near Carlyss, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana; and 2) the construction and operation of about 96 miles of pipeline, three new compressor stations, and 15 new meter stations to deliver natural gas to the LNG Facility.
The EIS has been prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), under the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Parts 1500–1508), and the FERC’s regulations at 18 CFR 380. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Transportation participated as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by the proposals and participate in the NEPA analysis. Although the cooperating agencies provide input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the draft EIS, the agencies will each present their own conclusions and recommendations in their respective records of decision or determinations for the projects.
We determined that construction and operation of the Driftwood LNG Project would result in adverse environmental impacts. However, with the exception of the visual impact on residents near the LNG Facility, which we conclude would be significant, impacts on the environment, would be reduced to less than significant levels with the implementation of Driftwood’s proposed impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures and the additional measures recommended by staff. We based our conclusions upon information provided by Driftwood and through data requests; field investigations; literature research; geospatial analysis; alternatives analysis; public comments and scoping sessions; and coordination with federal, state, and local agencies and Indian Tribes.
The following factors were also considered in our conclusions:
- The LNG Facility site would be in an area currently zoned for heavy industrial use, which is consistent with other industrial facilities along the Calcasieu Ship Channel.
- The Pipeline would parallel or be collocated with other disturbed right-of-way corridors (with pipelines or utilities) for about 68 miles (about 71 percent of the route).
- Trenchless methods such as horizontal directional drill (HDD) would be used to cross the majority of natural major waterbodies (i.e., rivers over 100’ crossing width).
- Driftwood would follow the Project-specific Construction Environmental Control Plan; Driftwood Plan; Driftwood Procedures; construction Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan; Unanticipated Discoveries Plan; HDD Plans; Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan; and Fugitive Dust Management Plan. Driftwood would also develop and implement an operations SPCC Plan.
- The U.S. Coast Guard issued a Letter of Recommendation indicating the Calcasieu Ship Channel would be considered suitable for the LNG marine traffic associated with the Project.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has no objection to Driftwood’s methodology to comply with the 49 CFR 193 siting requirements for the proposed LNG Facilities.
- The LNG Facility design would include acceptable layers of protection or safeguards that would reduce the risk of a potentially hazardous scenario from developing into an event that could impact the offsite public.
- The Pipeline and associated aboveground facilities would be constructed, operated, and maintained in compliance with DOT standards published in 49 CFR 192.
FERC staff would complete consultations with resource agencies to ensure compliance with:
- Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act; and
- Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Driftwood would follow an environmental inspection program, including Environmental Inspectors, to ensure compliance with the mitigation measures that become conditions of the FERC authorization. FERC staff would conduct inspections throughout construction, commissioning, and restoration of the Project.
In addition, we have developed recommendations that Driftwood should implement to further reduce the environmental impacts of the Project, including recommendations that Driftwood should implement specific to engineering, vulnerability, and detailed design of the LNG Facility, and ongoing recommendations relating to inspections, reporting, notification, and non-scheduled events that would apply throughout the life of the LNG Facility.
We are recommending mitigation measures to further reduce adverse impacts associated with the Project. Some of our conclusions of the impact are based on the implementation of these measures. We are seeking comment on these measures. These recommended mitigation measures are presented in Section 5.0 of the draft EIS.
Comments on the draft EIS must be received in Washington, D.C., on or before November 5, 2018.
Once the final EIS is issued, the FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the project.