Industries Environmental Documents
FERC Staff Issues FEIS for the Port Arthur Liquefaction Project, Texas Connector Project, and Louisiana Connector Project (CP17-20-000, CP17-21-000, CP17-21-001, CP18-7-000)
Issued January 31, 2019
The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Port Arthur Liquefaction Project proposed by Port Arthur LNG, LLC and PALNG Common Facilities Company LLC (collectively referred to as PALNG), and the Texas Connector Project and Louisiana Connector Project proposed by Port Arthur Pipeline, LLC (PAPL).
The proposed Projects would include a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Jefferson County, Texas and approximately 170 miles of 42-inch-diameter pipeline in Jefferson and Orange Counties, Texas; and Cameron, Calcasieu, Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, and St. Landry Parishes, Louisiana. The Port Arthur Liquefaction Project would include the following facilities:
- two liquefaction trains, each with a capacity of 6.73 million tons per annum of LNG for export;
- three LNG storage tanks, each with a capacity of 160,000 cubic meters;
- a refrigerant storage area and truck unloading facilities;
- a condensate storage area and truck loading facilities;
- a new marine slip with two LNG vessel berths, an LNG vessel and support vessel maneuvering area, and an LNG transfer system; and
- a materials off-loading facility and Pioneer Dock.
The Texas Connector Project and Louisiana Connector Project would include the following facilities:
- approximately 38.9 miles of 42-inch-diameter pipeline to bring feed gas to the liquefaction facilities (the Texas Connector Project);
- approximately 131.3 miles of 42-inch-diameter pipeline to bring feed gas to the liquefaction facilities (the Louisiana Connector Project);
- three compressor stations;
- meter stations at the pipeline interconnects; and
- other associated utilities, systems, and facilities (mainline valves, pig launchers/receivers, contractor yards, access roads, etc.).
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 in 40 Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 1500Ė1508 (40 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 Projects would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels. This determination is based on a review of the information provided by PALNG and PAPL 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 as follows:
- The Liquefaction Project would be located on a site previously reviewed and approved by the Commission in 2006 (FERC Docket No. CP05-83-000).
- PALNGís and PAPLís compensatory mitigation plans would be developed in accordance with the USACEís regulatory requirements to address impacts on wetlands and Waters of the United States.
- Adequate safety features would be incorporated into the design and operation of the Liquefaction Project facilities.
- The pipelines and associated aboveground facilities would be constructed, operated, and maintained in compliance with DOT safety standards published in 49 CFR 192.
- The USCG issued a Letter of Recommendation indicating the Sabine Neches River Ship Channel would be considered suitable for the LNG marine traffic associated with the Liquefaction Project.
- The proposed pipeline routes would be within or adjacent to existing rights-of-way for 43 percent (Texas Connector Project) and 73 percent (Louisiana Connector Project) of their respective lengths.
- PALNG and PAPL would implement their project-specific Environmental Plan, which includes the Commissionís Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan and Commissionís Procedures to minimize construction impacts on soils, wetlands, and waterbodies.
- Use of the HDD method for pipeline installation at 24 locations along the Texas Connector Project and 26 locations along the Louisiana Connector Project would avoid disturbances to wetlands, waterbodies, essential fish habitat, protected species, and vegetation and land use resources at those locations.
- FERC staff will complete the process of complying with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act prior to construction of the Projects.
- FERC staff will complete the process of complying with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act prior to construction of the Projects.
- PAPL further addressed potential impacts on cultural resources by submitting a revised Unanticipated Discoveries Plan, including its commitment to sponsor tribal cultural resource monitors for the land portion of the Louisiana Connector Project.
- FERCís environmental and engineering inspection and mitigation monitoring program for the Projects would ensure compliance with all mitigation measures and conditions of any FERC authorization.
In addition, we developed other site-specific mitigation measures that PALNG and PAPL should implement to further reduce the environmental impacts that would otherwise result from construction of their Projects.
The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staffís recommendations when they make a decision on the Projects.