FERC Staff Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Corpus Christi LNG Project

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 17 Oct 2014 07:42
Tags: cheniere ferc lng n-america usa

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The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Corpus Christi LNG Project (Project). The Project is proposed by Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC and Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline, L.P. (collectively referred to as Cheniere). All land-based facilities associated with the Project are located in San Patricio County, Texas, with the marine facilities located in Nueces County, Texas.

The Project would enable Cheniere to export 2.1 billion standard cubic feet (Bscf) per day of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and import sufficient LNG volume to send out 400 million standard cubic feet (MMscf) per day of natural gas. The proposed facilities associated with the LNG Terminal include the following:

  • liquefaction facilities, including three liquefaction trains each capable of liquefying approximately 700 MMscf per day of natural gas;
  • vaporization facilities, including two trains of ambient air vaporizers and send out pumps each capable of vaporizing sufficient LNG volume for each to send out approximately 200 MMscf per day of natural gas;
  • LNG storage facilities, including three LNG storage tanks each capable of storing LNG equivalent to approximately 3.4 Bscf of natural gas; and
  • marine terminal with two LNG carrier berths.

The Project would also include 23 miles of new 48-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline and two compressor stations which total 53,260 horsepower. Cheniere would install additional ancillary facilities along the pipeline including six meter stations, five mainline valves, and a pig launcher and receiver.

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 the staff's conclusions and recommendations. Although the cooperating agencies provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the EIS, the agencies will present their own conclusions and recommendations in their respective Records of Decision or determinations for the Project.

The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed Project, with the mitigation measures recommended in the EIS, would ensure that impacts in the Project area would be avoided or minimized and would not be significant. Construction and operation of the Project would result in mostly temporary and short-term environmental impacts; however, some long-term and permanent environmental impacts would occur. These conclusions are supposed by the following:

  • the U.S. Coast Guard's Letter of Recommendation indicating the waterway would be suitable for the type and frequency of the marine traffic 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 safety of the off-site public;
  • Cheniere 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
  • Cheniere would reduce and mitigate impacts on natural resources during construction by implementing its Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, Aquatic Resources Mitigation Plan, and the FERC's Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation and Maintenance Plan and Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures.

The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration the staff's recommendations and comments received when they make a decision on the Project.

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