The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Corpus Christi LNG project.
The project is proposed by Corpus Christi Liquefaction and Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline, units of 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 782 million British thermal units (MMBtu) per year of liquefied natural gas and import sufficient LNG volume to send out 400 MMBtu per day of natural gas. The proposed facilities associated with the LNG terminal include the following:
– liquefaction facilities, including three liquefaction trains capable of producing 782 million British thermal units (MMBtu) per year of LNG;
– vaporization facilities, including two trains of ambient air vaporizers (AAV) and send out pumps capable of vaporizing sufficient LNG volume for each to send out 200 MMBtu per day of natural gas;
– LNG storage facilities, including three LNG storage tanks each capable of storing 160,000 cubic meters of LNG; and
-marine terminal facilities 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 draft 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 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 served as cooperating agencies in the preparation of this draft EIS.
The FERC staff concluded that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures in the draft 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. Potential impacts would be reduced with the implementation of Cheniere’s proposed minimization and mitigation measures and the 108 additional measures recommended in the draft EIS. These conclusions are supported 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.