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Notice

Deepwater Port License Application: Texas Gulf Terminals, Inc.

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AGENCY:

Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation.

ACTION:

Notice of intent; notice of public meeting; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), in coordination with the Maritime Administration (MARAD), will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) as part of the environmental review of the Texas Gulf Terminals, Inc. (TGTI) deepwater port license application. The application proposes the ownership, construction, operation and eventual decommissioning of an offshore oil export deepwater port that would be located in Federal waters approximately 12.7 nautical miles off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas in a water depth of approximately 93 feet. The deepwater port would allow for the loading of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) via a single point mooring buoy system.

This Notice of Intent (NOI) requests public participation in the scoping process, provides information on how to participate and announces an informational open house and public meeting in Texas. Pursuant to the criteria provided in the Deepwater Port Act of 1974, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq. (the Act), Texas is the designated Start Printed Page 39814Adjacent Coastal State for this application.

DATES:

There will be one public scoping meeting held in connection with the TGTI deepwater port application. The meeting will be held in Corpus Christi, Texas on September 12, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The public meeting will be preceded by an informational open house from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The public meeting may end later than the stated time, depending on the number of persons wishing to speak. Additionally, materials submitted in response to this request for comments on the TGTI deepwater port license application must reach the Federal Docket Management Facility as detailed below by September 14, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

The open house and public meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas will be held at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel, 900 North Shoreline Boulevard, Corpus Christi, TX 78401, phone: (361) 887-1600, web address: https://www.omnihotels.com/​hotels/​corpus-christi. Free parking is available at the venue.

The public docket for MARAD-2018-0114 is maintained by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Management Facility, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

The license application is available for viewing at the Regulations.gov website: http://www.regulations.gov under docket number MARAD-2018-0114.

We encourage you to submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If you submit your comments electronically, it is not necessary to also submit a hard copy. If you cannot submit material using http://www.regulations.gov, please contact either Mr. Roddy Bachman, USCG or Mr. Wade Morefield, MARAD, as listed in the following FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document, which also provides alternate instructions for submitting written comments. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted. Anonymous comments will be accepted. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. The Federal Docket Management Facility's telephone number is 202-366-9329, the fax number is 202-493-2251.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Roddy Bachman, USCG, telephone: 202-372-1451, email: Roddy.C.Bachman@uscg.mil, or Mr. Wade Morefield, MARAD, telephone: 202-366-7026, email: Wade.Morefield@dot.gov. For questions regarding viewing the Docket, call Docket Operations, telephone: 202-366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Meeting and Open House

We encourage you to attend the informational open house and public meeting to learn about, and comment on, the proposed deepwater port. You will have the opportunity to submit comments on the scope and significance of the issues related to the proposed deepwater port that should be addressed in the EIS.

Speaker registrations will be available at the door. Speakers at the public scoping meeting will be recognized in the following order: Elected officials, public agencies, individuals or groups in the sign-up order and then anyone else who wishes to speak.

In order to allow everyone a chance to speak at a public meeting, we may limit speaker time, extend the meeting hours, or both. You must identify yourself, and any organization you represent by name. Your remarks will be recorded and/or transcribed for inclusion in the public docket.

You may submit written material at a public meeting, either in place of, or in addition to, speaking. Written material must include your name and address and will be included in the public docket.

Public docket materials will be made available to the public on the Federal Docket Management Facility website (see ADDRESSES).

Our public meeting location is wheelchair-accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you plan to attend an open house or public meeting and need special assistance such as sign language interpretation, non-English language translator services or other reasonable accommodation, please notify the USCG or MARAD (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) at least 5 business days in advance of the public meeting. Include your contact information as well as information about your specific needs.

Request for Comments

We request public comment on this proposal. The comments may relate to, but are not limited to, the environmental impact of the proposed action. All comments will be accepted. The public meeting is not the only opportunity you have to comment on the TGTI deepwater port license application. In addition to, or in place of, attending a meeting, you may submit comments directly to the Federal Docket Management Facility during the public comment period (see Dates). We will consider all comments and material received during the 30-day scoping period.

The license application, comments and associated documentation, as well as the draft and final EISs (when published), are available for viewing at the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website: http://www.regulations.gov under docket number MARAD-2018-0114.

Public comment submissions should include:

  • Docket number MARAD-2018-0114.
  • Your name and address.

Submit comments or material using only one of the following methods:

  • Electronically (preferred for processing) to the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website: http://www.regulations.gov under docket number MARAD-2018-0114.
  • By mail to the Federal Docket Management Facility (MARAD-2018-0114), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • By personal delivery to the room and address listed above between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • By fax to the Federal Docket Management Facility at 202-493-2251.

Faxed, mailed or hand delivered submissions must be unbound, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches and suitable for copying and electronic scanning. The format of electronic submissions should also be no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches. If you mail your submission and want to know when it reaches the Federal Docket Management Facility, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.

Regardless of the method used for submitting comments, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the FDMS website (http://www.regulations.gov) and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information to the docket makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy and Use Notice that is available on the FDMS website and the Department of Transportation Privacy Act Notice that appeared in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), see Privacy Act. You may view docket submissions at the Federal Start Printed Page 39815Docket Management Facility or electronically on the FDMS website.

Background

Information about deepwater ports, the statutes, and regulations governing their licensing, including the application review process, and the receipt of the current application for the proposed TGTI deepwater port appears in the TGTI Notice of Application, August 6, 2018 edition of the Federal Register. The “Summary of the Application” from that publication is reprinted below for your convenience.

Consideration of a deepwater port license application includes review of the proposed deepwater port's impact on the natural and human environment. For the proposed deepwater port, USCG and MARAD are the co-lead Federal agencies for determining the scope of this review, and in this case, it has been determined that review must include preparation of an EIS. This NOI is required by 40 CFR 1501.7. It briefly describes the proposed action, possible alternatives and our proposed scoping process. You can address any questions about the proposed action, the scoping process or the EIS to the USCG or MARAD project managers identified in this notice (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Proposed Action and Alternatives

The proposed action requiring environmental review is the Federal licensing of the proposed deepwater port described in “Summary of the Application” below. The alternatives to licensing the proposed port are: (1) Licensing with conditions (including conditions designed to mitigate environmental impact), (2) proposed deepwater port site alternatives or (3) denying the application, which for purposes of environmental review is the “no-action” alternative.

Scoping Process

Public scoping is an early and open process for identifying and determining the scope of issues to be addressed in the EIS. Scoping begins with this notice, continues through the public comment period (see Dates), and ends when USCG and MARAD have completed the following actions:

  • Invites the participation of Federal, state, and local agencies, any affected Indian tribe, the applicant, in this case TGTI, and other interested persons;
  • Determines the actions, alternatives and impacts described in 40 CFR 1508.25;
  • Identifies and eliminates from detailed study, those issues that are not significant or that have been covered elsewhere;
  • Identifies other relevant permitting, environmental review and consultation requirements;
  • Indicates the relationship between timing of the environmental review and other aspects of the application process; and
  • At its discretion, exercises the options provided in 40 CFR 1501.7(b).

Once the scoping process is complete, USCG and MARAD will prepare a draft EIS. When complete, MARAD will publish a Federal Register notice announcing public availability of the Draft EIS. (If you want that notice to be sent to you, please contact the USCG or MARAD project manager identified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You will have an opportunity to review and comment on the Draft EIS. The USCG, MARAD and other appropriate cooperating agencies will consider the received comments and then prepare the Final EIS. As with the Draft EIS, we will announce the availability of the Final EIS and give you an opportunity for review and comment. The Act requires a final public hearing to be held in the Adjacent Coastal State. Its purpose is to receive comments on matters related to whether or not an operating license should be issued. The final public hearing will be held in Corpus Christi, Texas after the Final EIS is made available for public review and comment.

Summary of the Application

TGTI is proposing to construct, own, and operate a deepwater port terminal in the Gulf of Mexico to export domestically produced crude oil. Use of the DWP would include the loading of various grades of crude oil at flow rates of up to 60,000 barrels per hour (bph). Approximately eight Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) vessels (or equivalent volumes) would be loaded per month from the proposed deepwater port. Loading of one VLCC vessel is expected to take 48 hours, including vessel approach, mooring, cargo transfer, and vessel departure.

The overall project would consist of three distinct, but interrelated components: (1) The “offshore” component, (2) the “inshore” component, and (3) the “onshore” component.

The proposed deepwater port (offshore component) would be located approximately 12.7 nautical miles off the coast of North Padre Island (Kleberg County, TX) and consists of 14.71 miles of two new parallel 30-inch diameter crude oil pipelines, which terminate at a single point mooring (SPM) buoy. The SPM buoy system would be positioned in water depths of approximately 93 feet and consist of a pipeline end manifold, catenary anchor leg mooring system, and other associated equipment. The SPM would be located in BOEM lease block number 823 at latitude N 27°28′42.60″ and longitude W 97°00′48.43″.

The inshore components associated with the proposed project include 5.74 miles of two new parallel 30-inch diameter pipelines and onshore valve stations used to connect the onshore project components to offshore project components. The inshore portions of the proposed pipeline infrastructure cross the Laguna Madre Bay complex, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and extend across North Padre Island to the mean high tide line located at the interface of North Padre Island and the Gulf of Mexico. The inshore project components include the installation of an onshore valve station on North Padre Island to allow for the isolation of portions of the proposed pipeline infrastructure for servicing, maintenance, and inspection operations.

Onshore components associated with the proposed project include the construction and operation of an onshore storage terminal facility (OSTF), booster station, and approximately 6.36 miles of two new parallel 30-inch diameter pipelines located within Nueces and Kleberg Counties, TX. The OSTF would occupy approximately 150 acres in Nueces County, TX and would consist of all necessary infrastructure to receive, store, measure and transport crude oil through the proposed inshore and deepwater port pipeline infrastructure. The proposed booster station would occupy approximately 8.25 acres in Kleberg County, TX and would consist of the necessary pumping infrastructure to support the transport of crude oil from the OSTF to the deepwater port. Onshore pipeline infrastructure would extend from the OSTF to the landward side of the mean high tide line located at the interface of the western shoreline of the Laguna Madre.

Privacy Act

In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its administrative and rulemaking processes. DOT posts comments, without edit, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice, DOT/ALL-14 FDMS, accessible through www.dot.gov/​privacy. To facilitate comment tracking and response, we encourage commenters to provide their name, or the name of their organization; Start Printed Page 39816however, submission of names is completely optional. Whether or not commenters identify themselves, all timely comments will be fully considered. If you wish to provide comments containing proprietary or confidential information, please contact the agency for alternate submission instructions.

(Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1501, et seq.; 49 CFR 1.93(h))

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Dated: August 6, 2018.

By Order of the Maritime Administrator.

T. Mitchell Hudson, Jr.,

Secretary, Maritime Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2018-17108 Filed 8-9-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-81-P