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Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)

Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Broadwater LNG Project (Docket Nos. CP06-54-000, et al.)
Issued: November 17, 2006

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard (Coast Guard); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; and the New York Department of State has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and natural gas pipeline (referred to as the Broadwater LNG Project) proposed by Broadwater Energy LLC and Broadwater Pipeline LLC (jointly referred to as Broadwater).

The proposed LNG terminal would be located in New York State waters of Long Island Sound, approximately 9 miles from the nearest shoreline of Long Island, and about 11 miles from the nearest shoreline in Connecticut. The terminal would be a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) that would be attached to a yoke mooring system (YMS) that includes a mooring tower embedded in the seafloor. The FSRU would look like a marine vessel and would remain moored in place for the duration of the Project (expected to be 30 years or more). The YMS would allow the FSRU to pivot or "weathervane" around the YMS, enabling the FSRU to orient in response to the prevailing wind, tide, and current conditions.

LNG would be delivered to the FSRU by approximately 2 to 3 LNG carriers per week, temporarily stored, vaporized (regasified), and then transported in a new subsea natural gas pipeline that would extend from the seafloor beneath the FSRU approximately 21.7 miles to an offshore connection with the existing Iroquois Gas Transmission System pipeline in Long Island Sound.

As part of its review of the Project, FERC staff has prepared a draft EIS to assess the environmental impacts of the Project. The draft EIS was prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.

The draft EIS also evaluates alternatives to the proposal, including alternative energy sources, system alternatives, alternative sites for the LNG import terminal, alternative designs, pipeline alternatives, and alternatives to the Coast Guard Letter of Recommendation action. The draft EIS also includes a draft General Conformity Determination to assess the potential air quality impacts associated with construction and operation of the proposed project.

Based on the analysis included in the draft EIS, we have determined that construction and operation of the proposed Project, with the adoption of the FERC and Coast Guard recommendations, would result in limited adverse environmental impacts. Our assessment is the product of an interdisciplinary review by FERC staff and our cooperating federal and state agencies. Our assessment is based on the analysis and critical review of information compiled from field investigations by FERC staff; literature research; alternatives analysis; comments from federal, state, and local agencies; input from public groups and individual citizens; and information provided by Broadwater and its technical consultants. During construction, the primary impacts would be physical disturbance of the seafloor and related turbidity in the water column. During operation, the impacts of primary concern would consist of minor impacts to water quality, air quality, fisheries, recreational boating and fishing, and commercial vessel traffic, as well as minor to moderate impacts on visual resources. All impacts occurring during operation would continue through the life of the proposed Project.

As part of our analysis, we developed specific mitigation measures that we believe would appropriately and reasonably avoid, minimize, and/or mitigate for environmental impacts resulting from construction and operation of the proposed Project. We believe that these measures would further reduce the environmental impact that otherwise would result from implementation of the Project, and we recommend that these measures be attached as conditions to any authorization issued by the Commission. We have concluded that, if the Project is implemented as planned with the identified mitigation measures during design, construction, and operation, it would be an environmentally acceptable action.

FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff's recommendations and the final EIS when they make a decision on the project.