2019-21793. Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment Statement for the Sempra PALNG Holdings, LLC Planned Port Arthur LNG Expansion Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues  

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    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Port Arthur LNG Expansion Project (Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by Sempra PALNG Holdings, LLC (Sempra) in Jefferson County, Texas. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public interest.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies about issues regarding the project. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from its action whenever it considers the issuance of an authorization. NEPA also requires the Commission to discover concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as “scoping.” The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of issues to address in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please submit your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 12, 2019.

    You can make a difference by submitting your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. Commission staff will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on June 14, 2019, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. PF19-5-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know? is available for viewing on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov) at https://www.ferc.gov/​resources/​guides/​gas/​gas.pdf. This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

    Public Participation

    The Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which makes it easy to stay informed of all issuances and submittals regarding the dockets/projects to which you subscribe. These instant email notifications are the fastest way to receive notification and provide a link to the document files which can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings. To sign up go to www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​esubscription.asp.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. 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, which is on the Commission's website (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. Using eComment is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;Start Printed Page 53433

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature, which is also 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. You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making; a comment on a particular project is considered a Comment on a Filing; 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 (PF19-5-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426

    Summary of the Planned Project

    Sempra plans to construct and operate additional liquefaction capacity at the site of the recently approved Port Arthur Liquefaction Project near Port Arthur, Texas. The planned expansion would add two liquefaction trains, increasing liquefied natural gas production capacity from 13.5 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) to approximately 27.0 MTPA.

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.[1]

    Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction and operation of the planned project would be wholly within property already certificated for the Port Arthur Liquefaction Project. No additional land would be required. The Project facilities, once constructed, would occupy approximately 60 acres.

    The EA Process

    The EA will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;
    • water resources and wetlands;
    • vegetation and wildlife;
    • threatened and endangered species;
    • cultural resources;
    • socioeconomics;
    • land use;
    • air quality and noise;
    • public safety; and
    • cumulative impacts

    Commission staff will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    Although no formal application has been filed, Commission staff have already initiated a NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the Commission receives an application. As part of the pre-filing review, Commission staff will contact federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EA.

    The EA will present Commission staffs' independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in electronic format in the public record through eLibrary [2] and the Commission's website (https://www.ferc.gov/​industries/​gas/​enviro/​eis.asp). If eSubscribed, you will receive instant email notification when the EA is issued. The EA may be issued for an allotted public comment period. Commission staff will consider all comments on the EA before making recommendations to the Commission. To ensure Commission staff have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2.

    With this notice, the Commission is asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues related to this project to formally cooperate in the preparation of the EA.[3] Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice.

    Consultation Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Commission is using this notice to initiate consultation with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office, and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.[4] The EA for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes: Federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; and other interested parties. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities as well as anyone who submits comments on the project. Commission staff will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that Commission notices related to this environmental review are sent to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned project.

    If the Commission issues the EA for an allotted public comment period, a Notice of Availability of the EA will be sent to the environmental mailing list and will provide instructions to access the electronic document on the FERC's website (www.ferc.gov). If you need to make changes to your name/address, or if you would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached “Mailing List Update Form” (appendix 2).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Sempra files its application with the Commission, you may want to become an intervenor which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.214). Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/​resources/​guides/​how-to/​intervene.asp. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests Start Printed Page 53434for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the project, after which the Commission will issue a public notice that establishes an intervention deadline.

    Additional Information

    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. Click on the eLibrary link, click on General Search and enter the docket number in the Docket Number field, excluding the last three digits (i.e., PF19-5). 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. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of all formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    Public sessions or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/​EventCalendar/​EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

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    Dated: October 1, 2019.

    Kimberly D. Bose,

    Secretary.

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    Footnotes

    1.  The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called eLibrary or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

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    2.  For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

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    3.  The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

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    4.  The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

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    [FR Doc. 2019-21793 Filed 10-4-19; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 6717-01-P

Document Information

Published:
10/07/2019
Department:
Energy Department
Agency:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
EntryType:
Notice
Document Number:
2019-21793
Pages:
53432-53434 (3 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Docket No. PF19-5-000
SectionNoes:
PDF File:
2019-21793.pdf