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    Alaska LNG Impacts Could Be Significant: Ferc


Project will impact several endangered species

by: Dale Lunan

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Alaska LNG Impacts Could Be Significant: Ferc

Staff of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) have concluded in a draft environmental impact statement released June 28 (DEIS) that some impacts of the US$43bn Alaska LNG project will be “adverse and significant.”

The project, which is being pursued by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), contemplates a gas treatment plant and field gathering transmission pipelines on Alaska’s North Slope at Prudhoe Bay, an 806-mile gas transmission line with eight gas-fired compressor stations between Prudhoe Bay and Cook Inlet and a 20mn mt/yr liquefaction plant on the eastern shore of Cook Inlet in the Nikiski area of the Kenai Peninsula.

Construction of the project, Ferc staff concluded, would or could have substantial impacts on permafrost, wetlands and forest, and would likely adversely impact six federally-listed species, including spectacled eider, polar bear, bearded seal, Cook Inlet beluga whale, humpbacked whale and ringed seal. Designated critical habitat for two of the species, the Cook Inlet beluga whale and the polar bear, would also likely be affected, the DEIS said.

Caribou would also likely be significantly impacted, staff said, particularly due to construction of the pipeline, which would pass near the centre of the central Arctic herds’ range, while operational noise near the liquefaction terminal would likely double, which “could be” considered a significant increase.

The public comment period for the DEIS will close October 3, 2019, after which Ferc will issue a final EIS by March 6, 2020.