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    US regulator confirms Rio Grande, Texas LNG approvals


US Court of Appeals in 2021 remanded the decision back to FERC on environmental, climate justice grounds.

by: Dale Lunan

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Americas, Political, Environment, Regulation, News By Country, United States

US regulator confirms Rio Grande, Texas LNG approvals

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), at its regular meeting April 20, confirmed two earlier decisions to approve the 27mn metric tons/year Rio Grande LNG project and the 4mn mt/yr Texas LNG Brownsville project.

The confirmation comes after the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in 2021 that FERC had failed to conduct an adequate analysis of the climate and environmental justice impacts of the two projects, violating both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Natural Gas Act.

In a statement, FERC chair Willie Phillips said FERC staff spent much of 2022 gathering information on the projects’ potential impacts on environmental communities within a 50-km radius of each.

“Today’s order takes an unprecedented and bipartisan step to protect environmental justice communities from potential concerns about the projects’ effects on air quality,” Phillips said. “As part of that full examination and due to required mitigation, we affirmed our earlier conclusion that the projects’ impacts would be less than significant.”

Glenfarne Group said it expected to make a final investment decision (FID) on Texas LNG this year, while NextDecade said in a securities filing in mid-March that FID for the first three of five trains at Rio Grande was anticipated by the end of Q2 2023.