Oregon’s Jordan Cove LNG project gets draft EIS

About the same time as Sempra Energy’s (stock ticker: SRE, $SRE) Baja Mexico-located LNG export project received two authorizations from the U.S. Department of Energy, FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Jordan Cove LNG Project and the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project proposed by Jordan Cove Energy Project, LP and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, L.P.

Jordan Cove is proposed for the Pacific coast in Oregon, giving its proposed cargoes a direct shot to Asia, much like the Sempra ECA Baja Mexico project.

Oregon's Jordan Cove LNG Project Gets Draft EIS- Oil & Gas 360

Jordan Cove LNG gets a draft EIS from FERC.

Pursuant to Sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act, Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector are seeking an Authorization and a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and an interstate natural gas transmission pipeline.


The Jordan Cove LNG export terminal

The LNG terminal would be located in Coos County, Oregon and would be capable of liquefying up to 1.04 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for export.

The 200-acre LNG terminal site would include:

  • a pipeline gas conditioning facility;
  • five natural gas liquefaction trains;
  • two full-containment LNG storage tanks and associated equipment;
  • LNG loading platform and transfer line;
  • marine facilities;
  • an access channel from the existing Coos Bay Federal Navigation Channel to the LNG terminal;
  • modifications adjacent to the existing Federal Navigation Channel;
  • a temporary workforce housing facility;
  • the non-jurisdictional Southwest Oregon Regional Security Center and Fire Department building; and
  • other security and control facilities, administrative buildings, and other support structures.
  • the LNG terminal would be called upon by about 120 LNG carriers per year.

The natural gas pipeline that will feed gas to the liquefaction facility

The pipeline would originate at interconnections with existing pipeline systems in Klamath County, Oregon, and would span parts of Klamath, Jackson, Douglas, and Coos Counties, Oregon, before connecting with the LNG terminal.

The approximately 229-mile-long, 36-inch-diameter pipeline would be capable of transporting up to 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Operating the pipeline would require the use of one compressor station and other associated pipeline facilities.

Company behind Jordan Cove

Pembina Pipeline Corporation (NYSE: PBA, $PBA), a 60-year-old transportation and midstream service provider that owns an integrated system of pipelines that transport hydrocarbon liquids and natural gas products in North America, is the company behind the Jordan Cove LNG project. Pembina is the parent company of Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline L.P. (PCGP or Pacific Connector) and Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P.

12 agencies are involved in permitting and approval process

FERC, the federal agency responsible for authorizing onshore LNG facilities, is also responsible for regulating the siting and construction of interstate natural gas transmission pipelines. So it has a two-fold responsibility for Jordan Cove.

FERC is the lead federal agency responsible for the preparation of this draft EIS, the commission said. A cooperating agency has jurisdiction by law or has special expertise with respect to the environment potentially affected by the project. For anyone who thought this was going to be easy, here is a list of the cooperating agencies that were involved in the development of this draft EIS consistent with 40 CFR 1501.6(b). These agencies will also be involved in the approval process before Jordan Cove flips the switch:

  1. The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM);
  2. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (Forest Service);
  3. Bureau of Reclamation;
  4. S. Department of Energy;
  5. S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE);
  6. S. Environmental Protection Agency;
  7. S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service;
  8. S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service;
  9. S. Department of Homeland Security Coast Guard (Coast Guard);
  10. the Coquille Indian Tribe; and
  11. the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The cooperating agencies provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the draft EIS. Following issuance of the final EIS, the cooperating agencies will issue subsequent decisions, determinations, permits or authorizations for the Project in accordance with each individual agency’s regulatory requirements.

FERC’s conclusions as to environmental impact

“We conclude that constructing and operating the Project would result in temporary, long-term, and permanent impacts on the environment. Many of these impacts would not be significant or would be reduced to less than significant levels with the implementation of proposed and/or recommended impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures,” the commission said in a statement.

Oregon's Jordan Cove LNG Project Gets Draft EIS- Oil & Gas 360

Artist’s rendering of Jordan Cove LNG export terminal.

The commission did find that some of these impacts would be “adverse and significant. Specifically, we conclude that constructing the Project would temporarily but significantly impact housing in Coos Bay and that constructing and operating the Project would permanently and significantly impact the visual character of Coos Bay. Furthermore, constructing and operating the Project is likely to adversely affect 13 federally-listed threatened and endangered species including the marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl, and coho salmon.

“Our conclusions are based wholly or in part on the following factors:

  • the Project would be constructed in compliance with all applicable federal laws, regulations, permits, and authorizations;
  • the applicants would implement all best management practices, the measures described in their Erosion Control and Revegetation Plan, Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures and Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plans, and other impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures;
  • the applicants’ Compensatory Wetland Mitigation Planwould satisfy the COE’s regulatory requirements to mitigate unavoidable impacts on wetlands and waters of the U.S.;
  • the BLM and Forest Service’s plan amendments would provide for the crossing of federal lands;
  • compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act would be complete prior to construction;
  • the LNG terminal was designed consistent with maximum tsunami run-up elevations and considered tsunami wave heights and inundation elevations;
  • the LNG terminal would include protections and safeguards that ensure facility integrity and public safety;
  • the Coast Guard issued a Letter of Recommendation indicating the Coos Bay Federal Navigation Channel would be considered suitable for the LNG marine traffic associated with the Project; and
  • FERC’s environmental and LNG engineering construction inspection programs would ensure compliance with all applicants’ commitments, and the conditions of any FERC Authorization and Certificate.”

FERC recommended that the Project-specific impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures that we have developed (included in the draft EIS as recommendations) be attached as conditions to any Authorization and Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued by the Commission for the Project.

FERC said the draft EIS comment period closes on July 5, 2019.


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