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Environmental Assessment

Environmental Assessment for the Elba Liquefaction Project (CP14-103 and CP14-115)

Issued February 5, 2016

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the natural gas facilities proposed by Elba Liquefaction Company, LLC (ELC), Southern LNG Company, LLC (SLNG), and Elba Express Company, LLC (EEC) (collectively referred to as “Companies”) in the above-referenced dockets. The proposed Elba Liquefaction Project and EEC Modification Project are collectively referred to as the Elba Liquefaction Project.

ELC and SLNG propose to construct and operate liquefaction and export facilities in two phases at the existing LNG Terminal in Chatham County, Georgia. Phase I of the proposed facilities associated with the LNG Terminal includes installation of three liquefaction system units; installation of a flare system and a marine flare; modifications to the LNG Terminal; ancillary facilities; and support system modifications. Project facilities associated with the LNG Terminal in Phase II include installation of seven additional liquefaction system units, ancillary support systems, and potential additions or upgrades to systems installed as part of Phase I.

ECC proposes to construct and operate facilities on its existing pipeline system in three phases. The Phase I compression and metering facilities would include the addition of 31,800 horsepower (hp) at the existing Hartwell Compressor Station in Hart County, Georgia; construction of a new 15,900-hp compressor station in Jefferson County, Georgia; construction of a new 15,900-hp compressor station in Effingham County, Georgia; installation of new metering facilities at existing sites in Chatham and Effingham County, Georgia and Jasper County, South Carolina; and modifications to segregate the two pipelines that currently extend from Elba Island to Port Wentworth, Georgia.

Phase II would include the addition of approximately 15,900-hp of compression at the existing Hartwell Compressor Station. Phase III would include the addition of approximately 15,900-hp at the Hartwell Compressor Station and approximately 15,900-hp of compression at the proposed compressor stations in Jefferson and Rincon Counties.

The EA 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] 1500–1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380).

The conclusions and recommendations presented in the EA are those of the FERC environmental staff. Input from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Energy-Office of Fossil Energy, and the U.S. Coast Guard, as cooperating agencies, was considered during the development of the staff’s conclusions and recommendations. Although the cooperating agencies provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the EA, the cooperating agencies will present their own conclusions and recommendations in their respective determinations for the Project.

The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed Project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Potential impacts would be reduced with the implementation of the applicants’ proposed minimization and mitigation measures and the 81 additional measures recommended in the EA. These conclusions are supported by the following:

  • the U.S. Coast Guard indicated that DCP’s existing Waterway Suitability Assessment and Letter of Recommendation are adequate for the vessel service associated with the Project;

  • based on FERC staff’s technical review of the preliminary engineering designs, as well as suggested mitigation measures, FERC staff concludes that sufficient layers of safeguards would be included in the facility designs to mitigate the potential for an incident that could impact the safety of the off-site public;

  • ELC, SLNG, and EEC would obtain all necessary federal authorizations prior to commencement of construction;

  • consultation required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act is completed; and

  • ELC, SLNG, and EEC would reduce and mitigate impacts on natural resources and public safety during construction by implementing Project-specific plans, including a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plan and a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan.

Comments on the EA must be received in Washington, DC on or before March 7, 2016. The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations and comments received when they make a decision on the Project.