Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Trunkline Gas Company

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 21 Apr 2015 07:46
Tags: bg-group ferc lng n-america usa

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The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Lake Charles Liquefaction Project proposed by Trunkline Gas Company, LLC (Trunkline); Lake Charles LNG Company, LLC; and Lake Charles LNG Export Company, LLC (collectively referred to as Lake Charles LNG).

The proposed project facilities include the construction, modification, and operation of the following facilities in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi:

  • three liquefaction trains, each with a production capacity sufficient to produce 5.48 million metric tons per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export (each train would contain metering and gas treatment facilities, liquefaction and refrigerant units, safety and control systems, and associated infrastructure);
  • modifications and upgrades at the existing LNG terminal;
  • about 0.5 mile of 48-inch-diameter feed gas line to supply natural gas to the liquefaction facility from existing gas transmission pipelines;
  • approximately 17.9 miles of 24- and 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline;
  • a new 98,685 horsepower (hp) compressor station;
  • abandonment of a 3,000-hp compressor unit, installation of a 15,002-hp unit, and piping modifications at one existing compressor station;
  • modification of station piping at three other existing compressor stations;
  • five new meter stations and modifications and upgrades of five existing meter stations;
  • modification of certain existing pipeline facilities; and
  • construction of miscellaneous auxiliary and appurtenant facilities.

The EIS was prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Parts 1500–1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Department of Transportation participated as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the draft EIS.

FERC’s environmental staff concludes that construction and operation of the project would result in adverse environmental impacts, but most impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels. This determination is based on a review of the information provided by Lake Charles LNG and Trunkline and further developed from data requests; field investigations; scoping; literature research; alternatives analysis; and contacts with federal, state, and local agencies as well as Indian tribes and individual members of the public. Although many factors were considered in this determination, the principal reasons are:

  • Construction and operation of the proposed liquefaction facility would not result in increased LNG vessel traffic (i.e., LNG vessel traffic would not exceed 225 vessels per year considered by the U.S. Coast Guard in its waterway suitability reviews).
  • About 6.5 miles (36 percent) of the proposed new pipelines would be looped and would overlap with the adjacent existing pipeline right-of-way, which would minimize new disturbance.
  • Much of the work at aboveground facilities would be located at existing facilities (four existing compressor stations and five existing metering and regulating stations), which would minimize new disturbance.
  • The horizontal direction drill method would be used to cross 22 waterbodies, including the Calcasieu River, which would avoid direct impacts on these resources.
  • Lake Charles LNG would mitigate wetland impacts associated with the construction and operation of the proposed liquefaction facility in accordance with the project-specific Compensatory Mitigation Plan.
  • The FERC would complete the process of complying with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act prior to construction.
  • The FERC staff has completed consultation under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and implementing regulations at 36 CFR 800 and determined that no historic properties would be affected by the project.
  • Lake Charles LNG and Trunkline would comply with all applicable air and noise regulatory requirements during construction and operation of the project.
  • Lake Charles LNG and Trunkline would minimize impacts on environmental resources during construction and operation of the project by implementing, as applicable, their Spill Prevention and Response Plan; Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans; Plan for Unanticipated Discovery of Contaminated Soils or Groundwater; Horizontal Directional Drill Contingency Plan; Compensatory Mitigation Plan; Unanticipated Discovery Plans (for cultural resources); Traffic Management Plan; and the FERC’s Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan and Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures.
  • An environmental inspection program would be implemented to ensure compliance with the mitigation measures that become conditions of the FERC authorization.

Comments on the draft EIS must be received in Washington, DC on or before June 1, 2015. Once the final EIS is issued, the FERC Commissioners will take into consideration the FERC staff’s recommendations when the Commission makes a decision on the project.

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