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Final Environmental Impact Statement

Final Environmental Impact Statement on Aguirre Offshore GasPort, LLC's Aguirre Offshore GasPort Project (Docket No. CP13-193-000)
Issued February 20, 2015

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Aguirre Offshore GasPort Project (Project), proposed by Aguirre Offshore GasPort, LLC (Aguirre LLC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Excelerate Energy, LP.

The proposed Project facilities include the construction and operation of an offshore marine liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving facility (Offshore GasPort) located about 3 miles off the southern coast of Puerto Rico, near the towns of Salinas and Guayama, and a 4.0-mile-long subsea pipeline connecting the Offshore GasPort to the Aguirre Power Complex in Salinas. A Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) would be moored at the Offshore GasPort on a semi-permanent basis. Ships would dock at the Offshore GasPort and deliver LNG to the FSRU. Both the ships and the FSRU would be under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The EIS was prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1500–1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Puerto Rico Permits Management Office, Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board, Puerto Rico Planning Board, Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, and Puerto Rico Department of Health cooperated in the preparation of the EIS.

FERC’s environmental staff concludes that approval of the proposed Project, with the mitigation measures recommended in the EIS, would result in limited adverse environmental impacts. These impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Aguirre LLC’s proposed minimization and mitigation measures and the additional measures recommended by the FERC staff in the EIS. Although many factors were considered in this determination, the principal reasons are:

  • a staff recommendation for either an alternate construction method or adoption of an alternative pipeline route would reduce impacts on federally endangered corals and other sensitive benthic species to an acceptable level;
  • the FERC staff would complete Endangered Species Act consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; and any appropriate compliance actions resulting from these consultations, prior to allowing construction to begin;
  • the Project would be consistent with or in conformance with federal authorizations, including the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act prior to any authorization to approve construction;
  • Aguirre LLC would implement resource- or activity-specific plans, procedures, and agreements to protect natural resources, avoid or limit environmental impacts, and promote restoration of all disturbed areas during construction and operation of the Project;
  • the Project would not result in significant impacts on recreational and commercial fishing activities within Jobos Bay;
  • the FERC staff completed the process of complying with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act; and
  • an environmental inspection program would be implemented to ensure compliance with all mitigation measures that become conditions of the FERC authorization, and other stipulations included in permits from other authorizing federal, state, and local agencies.

The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when the Commission makes a decision on the Project.