Industries Environmental Documents
FERC Staff Issues the DEIS for the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project (CP15-521-000)
Issued: November 15, 2018
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project (Project) proposed by Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC; Gulf LNG Energy, LLC; and Gulf LNG Pipeline, LLC (GLP) (collectively referred to as Gulf LNG).
Gulf LNG requests authorization pursuant to Sections 3(a) and 7 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to construct and operate onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction and associated facilities to allow export of LNG, and to construct, own, operate, and maintain new interconnection and metering facilities for the existing Gulf LNG Pipeline in Jackson County, Mississippi. The proposed actions are referred to as the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project (Project) and consist of the Gulf LNG Terminal Expansion (Terminal Expansion) and the GLP Pipeline Modifications.
The Project consists of the following:
- feed gas pre-treatment facilities, including a mercury removal system, an acid gas removal system (to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide), a molecular sieve dehydration system (to remove water), and a heavy hydrocarbon removal system (to remove natural gas liquids);
- two separate propane precooled mixed refrigerant liquefaction trains that liquefy natural gas, each with a nominal liquefaction capacity of 5 million metric tons per year (mtpy) and a maximum capacity of more than 5.4 mtpy of LNG;
- liquefaction facility utilities and associated systems, including two gas-fired turbine compressors per liquefaction train;
- storage facilities for condensate, ammonia and refrigerants;
- utilities systems, including instrument, plant air, and nitrogen;
- a truck loading/unloading facility to unload refrigerants and to load condensate produced during the gas liquefaction process;
- four flares (including one spare flare) in a single flare tower to incinerate excess gases associated with maintenance, startup/shutdown, and upset conditions during an emergency;
- two supply docks (North and South Supply Docks) designed to receive barges transporting materials and large equipment during construction, with one dock retained for use during operation;
- new in-tank LNG loading pumps in the existing LNG storage tanks to transfer LNG through the existing transfer lines to LNG marine carriers;
- new spill impoundment systems designed to contain LNG, refrigerants and other hazardous fluids;
- minor changes to piping at the existing berthing facility to permit bi-directional flow;
- a new concrete storm surge protection wall that connects to the existing storm surge protection wall near the southwest corner of the Terminal Expansion site and extends along the southern border of the Terminal Expansion site;
- a new earthen berm extending from the northeastern to the southeastern boundaries of the Terminal Expansion site, between the Terminal Expansion and the Bayou Casotte Dredged Material Management Site, and connecting to the new segments of the storm surge protection wall;
- six off-site construction support areas for use as staging and laydown areas, contractor yards, and parking;
- modifications to the existing metering stations at the existing Gulfstream Pipeline Company and Destin Pipeline Company interconnection facilities; and
- modifications to the existing Gulf LNG Pipeline at the existing Terminal to provide a connection to the inlet of the LNG liquefaction pre-treatment facilities.
Additionally, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) would construct modifications to the existing Transco/Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC Interconnect. FERC would review this project under Transco’s blanket certificate.
The EIS has been prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 1500–1508 (40 CFR 1500-1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380).
The conclusions and recommendations presented in the EIS are those of the FERC environmental staff. Input from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy; the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Mississippi Office of the Secretary of State, as cooperating agencies, was considered during the development of our conclusions and recommendations; however, these agencies could develop their own conclusions and recommendations and would adopt the final EIS per 40 CFR 1506.3 (where applicable) if, after an independent review of the document, they conclude that their permitting requirements have been satisfied.
The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed Project, with the mitigation measures recommended in the EIS, would have some adverse environmental impacts; however, these impacts would be avoided or reduced to less-than-significant levels. We based our conclusions upon information provided by Gulf LNG and through data requests; field investigations; literature research; geospatial analysis; alternatives analysis; public comments; and coordination with federal, state, and local agencies. The following factors were also considered in our conclusions:
- the Terminal Expansion facilities would be an expansion of an existing, operating LNG import Terminal with existing LNG storage tanks and berthing and loading/unloading facilities;
- Gulf LNG’s compensatory wetland mitigation plan would adequately address impacts on wetlands;
- the siting requirements of DOT for the Project, the Letter of Recommendation (LOR) issued by the USCG for the LNG marine traffic associated with the Project, FERC staff’s preliminary engineering review and recommendations for the Project, and the regulatory requirements for the pipeline system and Project would avoid a significant increase in public safety risks;
- Gulf LNG would implement its Project-specific Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan and its Project-specific Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures to minimize construction impacts on soils, wetlands, and waterbodies;
- the Project is not likely to adversely affect any species listed under the Endangered Species Act, would not contribute to a trend toward federal listing for any federally or state-listed threatened or endangered species, or have a substantial adverse impact on EFH;
- we have included a recommended condition that Gulf LNG file documentation of concurrence from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) that the Project is consistent with the Mississippi Coastal Zone Management Program prior to construction;
- the Project would have no effect on cultural resources;
- all appropriate consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS); National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS); the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fish and Parks (MDWFP); and the MDMR would be completed before construction is allowed to start; and
- the FERC’s environmental and engineering inspection and mitigation monitoring program for the Project would ensure compliance with all mitigation measures and conditions of any FERC Authorization.
In addition, we developed site-specific mitigation measures that Gulf LNG should implement to reduce the environmental impacts that would otherwise result from construction of the Project.
The draft EIS comment period closes on January 7, 2019. The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the Project.
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