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Final Environmental Impact Statement

FERC Staff Issues the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Jordan Cove Liquefaction and Pacific Connector Pipeline Projects (CP13-483-000 and CP13-492-000)

Issued September 30, 2015

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the projects proposed by Jordan Cove Energy Project LP (Jordan Cove) in Docket No. CP13-482-000 and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP (Pacific Connector) in Docket No. CP13-492-000. Jordan Cove requests authorization under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to produce a maximum of 6.8 million metric tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a terminal in Coos County, Oregon for export to overseas markets. Pacific Connector seeks a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity under Section 7 of the NGA to transport about 1.07 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas in a pipeline from the Malin hub to the Jordan Cove terminal, crossing portions of Klamath, Jackson, Douglas, and Coos Counties, Oregon.

The facilities at the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal would include an access channel from the existing Coos Bay navigation channel; a marine slip with berths for an LNG vessel and tugboats; a barge berth; a loading platform; a transfer pipeline; two LNG storage tanks; four liquefaction trains and refrigerant storage bullets; fire water ponds; ground flares; support buildings; utility and access corridor between the terminal and the power plant; 420-megawatt South Dune Power Plant; Southwest Oregon Resource Security Center; and a natural gas treatment plant. The Pacific Connector facilities would consist of the 232-mile-long, 36-inch-diameter pipeline between Malin and Coos Bay; the 41,000 horsepower Klamath Compressor Station at the eastern beginning of the pipeline; the Klamath-Eagle Receipt Meter Station and Klamath-Beaver Receipt Meter Station within the compressor station tract; Clarks Branch Delivery Meter Station at the interconnection with the Northwest Pipeline Grants Pass Lateral; Jordan Cove Delivery Meter Station at the interconnection with the Jordan Cove LNG terminal; 5 pig 1 launchers and receivers; 17 mainline block valves; and 11 communication towers co-located with other 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 (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Parts 1500–1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380). The conclusions and recommendations presented in the EIS are those of the FERC environmental staff. Input from federal coopering agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (Forest Service); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE); U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Coast Guard (Coast Guard); Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS); and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), was considered during the development of the conclusions and recommendations in the EIS. The EIS includes an analysis of project-specific amendments to individual BLM District and Forest Service National Forest land management plans (LMP) to make provision for the pipeline; and the BLM would use the EIS in its process of considering a Right-of-Way Grant for Pacific Connector, with the concurrence of the Forest Service and Reclamation. The cooperating federal agencies could develop their own conclusions and recommendations and would adopt the EIS per 40 CFR 1506.3 (where applicable) if, after an independent review of the document, they conclude that their permitting requirements have been satisfied.

The FERC staff concludes that construction and operation of the projects would result in some limited adverse environmental impacts, but these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of the applicants’ proposed mitigation measures and the additional measures recommended in the final EIS. This determination is based on a review of the information provided by Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector and further developed from data requests; field investigations; scoping; literature research; alternatives analyses; and consultations with federal, state, and local agencies, Indian tribes, and other stakeholders. In addition, the FERC staff and federal cooperating agencies developed other site-specific mitigation measures that Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector should implement to further reduce the environmental impacts that would otherwise result from construction of their projects. Although many factors were considered in this determination, the principal reasons are:

  • LNG marine traffic in the waterway would be required to adhere to any vessel traffic and/or facility control measures determined necessary by the Coast Guard to address navigational safety and maritime security considerations;

  • the final engineering design for the LNG terminal would incorporate detailed seismic specifications and other measures to protect the terminal from future earthquakes and potential tsunamis, and mitigation measures would be implemented by Pacific Connector to address landslides and other geological hazards along the pipeline route;

  • Jordan Cove would implement FERC’s Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan and our Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures, and its own Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, and Pacific Connector would implement its project-specific Erosion Control and Revegetation Plan, which would minimize impacts on soils, waterbodies, and wetlands;

  • Jordan Cove would implement the measures of its Project Compensatory Wetland Mitigation Plan to mitigate for the loss of wetlands, and its Wildlife Habitat Mitigation Plan to mitigate for the loss of vegetation at the terminal location;

  • Pacific Connector would implement the measures in its Stream Crossing Risk Analysis, Report on Preliminary Pipeline Study of the Haynes Inlet Water Route, Horizontal Directional Drill Contingency Plan and Failure Procedures, and Hydrostatic Testing Plan to minimize impacts on waterbodies, and its Integrated Pest Management Plan to minimize the potential spread of vegetative pests and noxious weeds;

  • the COE and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality would issue permits to Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector under the River and Harbors Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act that would contain measures to minimize impacts on water quality and air quality;

  • Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector would obtain a determination from Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development that the projects would be consistent with the Coast Zone Management Act;

  • the BLM and Forest Service would amend their respective LMPs in the appropriate Districts and National Forests to allow for the pipeline, and the BLM would issue a Right-of-Way Grant to Pacific Connector for an easement over federal lands, to be concurred with by the Forest Service and Reclamation, based on the implementation of an approved Plan of Development that includes additional measures to minimize impacts on environmental resources;

  • Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector would implement the measures in their Compensatory Mitigation Plan to minimize impacts on federally listed threatened and endangered species;

  • The FERC staff would revise its biological assessment, enter into formal consultations with the FWS and U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Services would issue biological opinions that include additional conservation measures to assure that the Project would not jeopardize the continued existence of any species under their jurisdiction and would not adversely modify or destroy designated critical habitat;

  • adverse effects on historic properties would be resolved through an amended project-specific Memorandum of Agreement;

  • the LNG terminal would meet the federal safety regulations regarding the thermal radiation and flammable vapor dispersion exclusion zones and appropriate design standards, and Pacific Connector’s natural gas facilities would also be designed, constructed, and operated in accordance with DOT safety standards; and

  • an environmental inspection and mitigation monitoring program would be implemented to ensure compliance with all mitigation measures that become conditions of any FERC authorization.


      1 A “pig” is a tool for cleaning and inspecting the inside of a pipeline.