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Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)

FERC Staff issues Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the Broadwater LNG Project (Docket Nos. CP06-54-000, et al.)
Issued: January 11, 2008

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 final 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 10 miles from the nearest shoreline in Connecticut. The terminal consists of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) that would be attached to a yoke mooring system (YMS) which 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 LNG carriers, temporarily stored, vaporized (regasified), and then transported in a new subsea natural gas pipeline that would extend beneath the seafloor from the FSRU approximately 21.7 miles to an offshore connection with the existing Iroquois Gas Transmission System (IGTS) pipeline in Long Island Sound. Natural gas would be routed from the FSRU to the subsea pipeline and into the IGTS pipeline for delivery at an average flow rate of about 1.0 billion cubic feet per day.

LNG would be delivered to the FSRU by 2 to 3 LNG carriers per week to meet the Project's planned send-out volumes of natural gas. Inbound carriers from the Atlantic Ocean would first stop at either the Point Judith Pilot Station (primary route) or the Montauk Pilot Station (alternate route). From the Point Judith Pilot Station, carriers would transit Block Island Sound north of Block Island, head generally west to enter Long Island Sound at its eastern end (an area known as the Race), and proceed to the FSRU. From the Montauk Pilot Station, carriers would head generally northwest to approach the Race, and then proceed to the FSRU.

As part of this evaluation, FERC staff has prepared a final EIS to assess the environmental impacts of the Project. The final EIS was prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The final 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.

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.

During our environmental review of the proposed Project, we identified procedures that would avoid, minimize, and mitigate environmental impacts that would result from construction and operation of the Project as proposed by Broadwater. We recommend that these mitigation measures be attached as conditions to any authorization issued by the Commission. If the proposed Project is found to be consistent with the public interest and is constructed and operated in accordance with Broadwater's proposed mitigation methods and the mitigation measures recommended by FERC and Coast Guard, we conclude that it would result in limited adverse environmental impacts.