Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Jordan Cove Energy Project (CP17-494-000 and CP17-495-000)

Issued: March 29, 2019

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Jordan Cove LNG Project and the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project (collectively referred to as the Project) proposed by Jordan Cove Energy Project, LP (Jordan Cove) and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, L.P. (Pacific Connector).

Pursuant to Sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act, Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector are seeking an Authorization and a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and an interstate natural gas transmission pipeline.

The LNG terminal would be located in Coos County, Oregon and would be capable of liquefying up to 1.04 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for export. The 200-acre LNG terminal site would include: a pipeline gas conditioning facility; five natural gas liquefaction trains; two full-containment LNG storage tanks and associated equipment; LNG loading platform and transfer line; marine facilities; an access channel from the existing Coos Bay Federal Navigation Channel to the LNG terminal; modifications adjacent to the existing Federal Navigation Channel; a temporary workforce housing facility; the non-jurisdictional Southwest Oregon Regional Security Center and Fire Department building; and other security and control facilities, administrative buildings, and other support structures. As proposed, the LNG terminal would be called upon by about 120 LNG carriers per year.

The pipeline would originate at interconnections with existing pipeline systems in Klamath County, Oregon, and would span parts of Klamath, Jackson, Douglas, and Coos Counties, Oregon, before connecting with the LNG terminal. The approximately 229-mile-long, 36-inch-diameter pipeline would be capable of transporting up to 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Operating the pipeline would require the use of one compressor station and other associated pipeline facilities.

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 Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 1500–1508 (40 CFR 1500-1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380).

The FERC is the federal agency responsible for authorizing onshore LNG facilities and is responsible for regulating the siting and construction of interstate natural gas transmission pipelines. FERC is the lead federal agency responsible for the preparation of this draft EIS. The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM); U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (Forest Service); Bureau of Reclamation; U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service; U.S. Department of Homeland Security Coast Guard (Coast Guard); the Coquille Indian Tribe; and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation are cooperating agencies for the development of this draft EIS consistent with 40 CFR 1501.6(b). A cooperating agency has jurisdiction by law or has special expertise with respect to the environment potentially affected by the Project. The cooperating agencies provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the draft EIS. Following issuance of the final EIS, the cooperating agencies will issue subsequent decisions, determinations, permits, or authorizations for the Project in accordance with each individual agency’s regulatory requirements.

We conclude that constructing and operating the Project would result in temporary, long-term, and permanent impacts on the environment. Many of these impacts would not be significant or would be reduced to less than significant levels with the implementation of proposed and/or recommended impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures. However, some of these impacts would be adverse and significant. Specifically, we conclude that constructing the Project would temporarily but significantly impact housing in Coos Bay and that constructing and operating the Project would permanently and significantly impact the visual character of Coos Bay. Furthermore, constructing and operating the Project is likely to adversely affect 13 federally-listed threatened and endangered species including the marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl, and coho salmon. Our conclusions are based wholly or in part on the following factors:

  • the Project would be constructed in compliance with all applicable federal laws, regulations, permits, and authorizations;
  • the applicants would implement all best management practices, the measures described in their Erosion Control and Revegetation Plan, Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures and Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plans, and other impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures;
  • the applicants’ Compensatory Wetland Mitigation Plan would satisfy the COE’s regulatory requirements to mitigate unavoidable impacts on wetlands and waters of the U.S.;
  • the BLM and Forest Service’s plan amendments would provide for the crossing of federal lands;
  • compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act would be complete prior to construction;
  • the LNG terminal was designed consistent with maximum tsunami run-up elevations and considered tsunami wave heights and inundation elevations;
  • the LNG terminal would include protections and safeguards that ensure facility integrity and public safety;
  • the Coast Guard issued a Letter of Recommendation indicating the Coos Bay Federal Navigation Channel would be considered suitable for the LNG marine traffic associated with the Project; and

FERC’s environmental and LNG engineering construction inspection programs would ensure compliance with all applicants’ commitments, and the conditions of any FERC Authorization and Certificate.

In addition, we recommend that the Project-specific impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures that we have developed (included in the draft EIS as recommendations) be attached as conditions to any Authorization and Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued by the Commission for the Project.

The draft EIS comment period closes on July 5, 2019. The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the Projects.


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This page was last updated on June 16, 2020