Ferc Staff Issues Draft EIS for Texas LNG Project
Staff of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) have prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Texas LNG project, a 4mn metric/tons per year (mt/yr) LNG export facility on the Brownsville Ship Channel in Cameron County, Texas, the commission announced October 26.
The issuance of the draft EIS starts the environmental review process for the project, the third planned for the Brownsville area of Texas. A final EIS is due from Ferc by March 15, 2019, while the deadline for all federal approvals on the project is June 13, 2019.
In the draft EIS, Ferc staff conclude that while Texas LNG would cause some adverse environmental impacts, most would be mitigated using measures recommended in the EIS, with the exception of visual impacts as viewed from the nearby Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.
But the project, combined with the nearby 27mn mt/yr Rio Grande LNG project and the 6mn mt/yr Annova LNG project, would result in significant cumulative impacts from sediment turbidity and shoreline erosion in the ship channel, on federally-listed ocelot and jaguarundi species from habitat loss and the potential for increased vehicular strikes during construction and on visual resources due to the number of above-ground structures at the three export terminals.
“Construction and operation of the Texas LNG project would result in mostly temporary or short-term environmental impacts; however, some long-term and permanent environmental impacts would occur,” Ferc said.
The draft EIS is open to public comment until December 17, 2018. Texas LNG expects to take a final investment decision on the project in late 2019, with first exports commencing from the initial phase (2mn mt/yr) in late 2023 or early 2024 and phase 2 exports anticipated one or two years later.