The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Annova LNG Brownsville Project (referred to as the Annova LNG Project, or Project). Annova LNG Common Infrastructure LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville A LLC, Annova LNG Brownsville B LLC, and Annova LNG Brownsville C, LLC (collectively referred to as Annova LNG) request authorization to site, construct, and operate liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities on the Brownsville Ship Channel in Cameron County, Texas. The Project would include a new LNG export terminal capable of producing up to 6.95 million metric tons per year of LNG for export. The LNG terminal would receive natural gas to the export facilities from an as-yet undetermined third-party intrastate pipeline.
The draft EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the Project would result in some adverse environmental impacts. However, with the mitigation measures recommended in the EIS and Annova's proposed mitigation measures, impacts in the Project area would be avoided or minimized, and would not be significant. In addition, the Annova LNG Project, combined with other projects in the geographic scope, including the Texas LNG and Rio Grande LNG Projects, would result in certain significant cumulative impacts. Construction and operation of the Project would result in mostly temporary or short-term environmental impacts; however, some long-term and permanent environmental impacts would occur.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Department of Transportation; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Parks Service; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; Federal Aviation Administration; and U.S. Department of Energy participated as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by the proposal and participate in the NEPA analysis. Although the cooperating agencies provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the draft EIS, the agencies will present their own conclusions and recommendations in their respective Records of Decision for the project.
The draft EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the following Project facilities:
- Pipeline meter station;
- Liquefaction facilities;
- Two LNG storage tanks;
- Marine and LNG transfer facilities;
- Control room, administration/maintenance building;
- Site access road; and
- Utilities (power, water, and communication systems).
The Commission mailed a copy of the Notice of Availability to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; and newspapers and libraries in the Project area. The draft EIS is only available in electronic format. It may be viewed and downloaded from the Start Printed Page 65651FERC's website (www.ferc.gov), on the Environmental Documents page (https://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis.asp). In addition, the draft EIS may be accessed by using the eLibrary link on the FERC's website. Click on the eLibrary link (https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp), click on General Search, and enter the docket number in the Docket Number field, excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP16-480). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.
Any person wishing to comment on the draft EIS may do so. Your comments should focus on draft EIS's disclosure and discussion of potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. To ensure consideration of your comments on the proposal in the final EIS, it is important that the Commission receive your comments on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 4, 2019.
For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission will provide equal consideration to all comments received, whether filed in written form or provided verbally. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has staff available to assist you at (866) 208-3676 or FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov. Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.
(1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;
(2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on eRegister. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or
(3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP16-480-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
(4) In lieu of sending written or electronic comments, the Commission invites you to attend the public comment session its staff will conduct in the project area to receive comments on the draft EIS, scheduled as follows:
|Date and time||Location|
|Thursday, January 10, 2019, 5:00-9:00 p.m. CST||Port Isabel Convention Center, 309 E. Railroad Ave, Port Isabel, TX 78578, 956-433-7195.|
The primary goal of the comment session is to have you identify the specific environmental issues and concerns with the draft EIS. Individual verbal comments will be taken on a one-on-one basis with a court reporter. This format is designed to receive the maximum amount of verbal comments, in a convenient way during the timeframe allotted.
The comment session is scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. CST. You may arrive at any time after 5:00 p.m. There will not be a formal presentation by Commission staff when the session opens. If you wish to speak, the Commission staff will hand out numbers in the order of your arrival. Comments will be taken until the closing hour for the comment session. However, if no additional numbers have been handed out and all individuals who wish to provide comments have had an opportunity to do so, staff may conclude the session 30 minutes before the closing hour. Please see appendix 1 for additional information on the session format and conduct.
Your verbal comments will be recorded by the court reporter (with FERC staff or representative present) and become part of the public record for this proceeding. Transcripts will be publicly available on FERC's eLibrary system (see page 2 for instructions on using eLibrary). If a significant number of people are interested in providing verbal comments in the one-on-one settings, a time limit of 5 minutes may be implemented for each commenter.
It is important to note that verbal comments hold the same weight as written or electronically submitted comments. Although there will not be a formal presentation, Commission staff will be available throughout the comment session to answer your questions about the environmental review process.
Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR part 385.214). Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp. Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing or judicial review of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.
Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of all formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.
In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription that allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.
Start Printed Page 65652
Dated: December 14, 2018.
Kimberly D. Bose,
[FR Doc. 2018-27638 Filed 12-20-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P