Industries Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)
FERC staff issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Sparrows Point LNG and Mid-Atlantic Express Pipeline Project (Docket Nos. CP07-62-000, CP07-63-000, CP07-64-000, and CP07-65-000)
Issued: April 25, 2008
FERC staff prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express, L.L.C. (collectively, AES) Sparrows Point LNG and Mid-Atlantic Express Pipeline Project. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal is proposed for an industrial port setting on Sparrows Point, in Baltimore County, Maryland, and consist of facilities capable of unloading LNG ships, storing up to 480,000 cubic meters (m3) of LNG, vaporizing the LNG, and sending out natural gas at a baseload rate of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd). The pipeline would include about 88 miles of 30-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline (about 48 miles in Maryland and 40 miles in Pennsylvania), ending in Eagle, Pennsylvania.
FERC's environmental staff concludes that the Sparrows Point LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project with appropriate mitigating measures, as recommended, would have limited adverse environmental impact and would be an environmentally acceptable action.
The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cooperated in the preparation of the draft EIS. Staff concludes the project would be an environmentally acceptable action (with appropriate mitigation) because: The primary reasons for our decision are:
- AES would construct its LNG terminal within an industrial port setting and the proposed pipeline facilities would follow existing, maintained rights-of-way for about 84.8 percent of the proposed pipeline route;
- AES and Mid-Atlantic Express would minimize impacts on soils, wetlands, and waterbodies by implementing their Environmental Construction Plans;
- AES and Mid-Atlantic Express would be required to consult with federal and state agencies regarding the development of an Aquatic Resources Mitigation Plan that would compensate for impacts to wetland and waterbody resources;
- The Coast Guard's Waterway Suitability Report has preliminarily determined that the Chesapeake Bay can be made suitable for LNG marine traffic to the proposed facility, provided additional measures necessary to responsibly manage the maritime safety and security risks are put into place;
- AES would incorporate appropriate features and modifications, as specified by staff's recommendations, into the facility design to enhance the safety and operability of the proposed LNG facility;
- The proposed facility would comply with the siting requirements of Title 49, CFR, Part 193;
- AES would be required to develop and implement an Emergency Response Plan that would include involvement by state and local agencies and municipalities; include a Cost-Sharing Plan and a Transit Management Plan; and meet the requirements of the Commission, the Coast Guard, and other federal agencies;
- AES and Mid-Atlantic Express would complete consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officers and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, as required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, as required by Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, before beginning construction;
- AES and Mid-Atlantic Express would obtain all federal permits and authorizations and would follow the applicable permitting requirements of the States of Maryland and Pennsylvania; and
- The environmental inspection and mitigation monitoring program would ensure compliance with the mitigation measures that would become conditions to any authorizations of the proposed Project issued by the Commission.
FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff's recommendations and the final EIS when they make a decision on the project.