Industries Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)
Staff of the FERC issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Bradwood Landing LNG Project (Docket Nos. CP06-365-000, et al.)
Issued: August 17, 2007
The FERC staff prepared a draft EIS for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal proposed by Bradwood Landing LLC and the associated sendout natural gas pipeline proposed by NorthernStar Energy LLC (hereafter, combined as NorthernStar). The LNG terminal would be located at Bradwood, about 38 miles up the Columbia River from its mouth in Clatsop County, Oregon. The 36.3-mile-long sendout pipeline would be located in Clatsop and Columbia Counties, Oregon, and Cowlitz County, Washington.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) and the U.S. Coast Guard (Coast Guard) cooperated in the preparation of the draft EIS. The draft EIS indicates that the Bradwood Landing LNG Project with appropriate mitigating measures, as recommended, would have limited adverse environmental impact. The FERC staff concludes the project would be environmentally acceptable action (with appropriate mitigation) because:
- The final engineering design for the LNG terminal would incorporate detailed seismic specifications and other measures to mitigate the impacts of seismic hazards, and mitigation measures would be implemented along the pipeline route to address landslide hazards;
- Dredging to create the terminal berth maneuvering area would not significantly alter the hydrodynamic characteristics of the Columbia River or Clifton Channel. The sediments to be dredged are not contaminated, and the dredge spoil would be deposited at the terminal site to raise its elevation well above the 100-year-flood line, and at an existing permitted disposal site on Puget Island;
- NorthernStar would implement its project-specific Erosion and Sediment Control Plans and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan for the pipeline in Washington, and follow the FERC's Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures to mitigate impacts on soils, wetlands, and water resources;
- The use of horizontal directional drill methods would avoid impacts on the bed and banks of selected sensitive waterbodies;
- Water intakes by LNG ships at berth would be screened to prevent the entrainment or impingement of federally-listed threatened or endangered juvenile salmonids;
- NorthernStar would implement various mitigation plans to compensate for impacts on waterbodies, wetlands, vegetation, and habitats;
- The proposed LNG terminal would meet the federal safety regulations regarding the thermal radiation and flammable vapor dispersion exclusion zones, and appropriate safety features would be incorporated into the design and operation of the LNG import terminal and LNG ships;
- If the Coast Guard issues a Letter of Recommendation finding the waterway to be suitable for LNG marine traffic (with additional conditions), the security provisions and operational controls that would be imposed would make the likelihood of an LNG spill, and the potential for an associated pool fire, remote;
- Consultations with the COE, Coast Guard, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Department of State Lands, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon and Washington State Historic Preservation Offices, and other appropriate agencies would be completed before NorthernStar would be allowed to begin construction;
- An environmental and engineering inspection and mitigation monitoring program would be implemented to ensure compliance with all mitigation measures that become conditions of any FERC authorization.
The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff's recommendations and the final EIS when they make a decision on the project.