FERC issues final EIS for Mississippi LNG project

Nick Snow
Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 27 -- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff on Dec. 22 released a final environmental impact statement favoring Bayou Casotte Energy LLP's proposed LNG terminal and pipeline on Bayou Casotte adjacent to parent Chevron Corp.'s refinery near Pascagoula, Miss.

FERC said commissioners will take the final EIS into consideration when they make a final decision on the project.

FERC found the project environmentally acceptable for several reasons:

-- The site adjoining Chevron's refinery would provide "numerous synergies and environmental benefits, including use of existing services for security and safety, minimization of landowner impacts, and use of waste heat from the refinery to accomplish LNG vaporization."

-- Only short lengths of pipeline are needed to tie into an existing natural gas pipeline grid.

-- The project would not likely affect threatened or endangered species.

-- No residences are near construction areas.

-- Bayou Casotte Energy plans to implement a modified version of FERC's plans and procedures to minimize impacts on soils, wetlands, and bodies of water.

-- No noise-sensitive areas are located near the proposed project.

-- Before construction could begin, appropriate consultations would be required with the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, State Historic Preservation Office, and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

-- Safety features would be incorporated into the design of the terminal and LNG vessels that use it.

-- Local pilots and the US Coast Guard would impose operational controls to direct the movement of LNG ships, and security provisions would be put in place to deter possible terrorist attacks.

-- The project's environmental and engineering inspection and mitigation monitoring program would ensure compliance with all mitigation measures, which would be conditions of FERC's authorization.

Contact Nick Snow at nsnow@cox.net.

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