Industries Environmental Documents
FERC Staff Issues the DEIS for the Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline Project (CP17-66-000 and CP17-67-000)
Issued: November 13, 2018
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Venture Global Plaquemines LNG and Venture Global Gator Express Pipeline Project (or Project).
The proposed Project would include a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and two 42-inch-diameter pipelines in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The LNG terminal and pipeline system would include the following facilities:
- LNG Terminal: Construction and operation of various liquefaction, LNG distribution, and appurtenant facilities within the boundaries of the site leased by Venture Global about 20 miles south of Belle Chasse, Louisiana, on the Mississippi River, including:
- six pretreatment facilities;
- a liquefaction plant with 18 integrated single-mixed refrigerant blocks and support facilities (otherwise referred to as liquefaction blocks or blocks) to be constructed in two phases (nine blocks in each phase);
- four 200,000-cubic-meter aboveground LNG storage tanks;
- three LNG loading docks within a common LNG berthing area; and
- air-cooled electric power generation facilities.
- Pipeline System: Construction and operation of two parallel 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipelines, that share one right-of-way corridor for the majority of their respective routes, and appurtenant aboveground facilities, including the following:
- 15.1-mile-long Southwest Lateral Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) Pipeline;
- 11.7-mile-long Southwest Lateral Texas Eastern Transmission (TETCO) Pipeline;
- TGP metering and regulation station; and
- TETCO metering and regulation station
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] 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 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Energy as cooperating agencies was considered during the development of our conclusions and recommendations; however, these agencies could develop their own conclusions and recommendations and would adopt the final 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 Project would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with mitigation. However, the proposed project combined with other projects in the geographic scope could result in significant cumulative impacts on air quality. This determination is based on a review of the information provided by Venture Global Plaquemines LNG, LLC and Venture Global Gator Express, LLC (collectively referred to as Venture Global) and further developed from data requests; field investigations; scoping; literature research; alternatives analyses; and contacts with the federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, and other stakeholders. Although many factors were considered in this determination, the principal reasons are:
- No dredging would occur within the Mississippi River.
- The HDD method would be used to avoid direct affects to a canal and large wetland area and most of the pipeline would be installed in open water, which would minimize impacts on sensitive wetland resources.
- Venture Global would mitigate wetland impacts associated with the construction and operation of the proposed LNG terminal and the pipeline system with the implementation of its CMP and in accordance with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit regulations.
- FERC staff would complete the process of complying with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act prior to construction.
- FERC staff would complete consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and its implementing regulations at 36 CFR 800 prior to construction.
- Venture Global would comply with all applicable air and noise requirements during construction and operation of the Project.
- Venture Global would minimize impacts on environmental resources during construction and operation of the Project by implementing, as applicable, their Project-specific Plan and Procedures; HDD Contingency Plan; and SPCC Plan.
- The siting requirements of DOT for the LNG terminal, the LOR issued by the USCG for the LNG marine traffic in the Mississippi River, FERC staff’s preliminary engineering review and recommendations for the LNG terminal, and the regulatory requirements for the pipeline system and LNG terminal would avoid a significant increase in public safety risks.
- An environmental inspection program would be implemented to ensure compliance with the mitigation measures that become conditions of the FERC authorization.
In addition, we developed other site-specific mitigation measures that Venture Global should implement to further reduce the environmental impacts that would otherwise result from construction of the Project.
The draft EIS comment period closes on January 7, 2019. The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the Project.
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