Environmental groups led by Sierra Club have asked FERC to rehear its decision last month to approve Annova LNG's plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal on the Brownsville Ship Channel in Cameron County, TX.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission erred by "failing to take a hard look" at the project's economic impacts and its "impacts on environmental justice communities," among other things, according to Sierra Club, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Save RGV from LGV, Defenders of Wildlife and the cities of South Padre Island, Port Isabel and Laguna Vista.

On Nov. 21, FERC approved Houston-based Annova's proposal to construct an LNG export terminal to include six liquefaction trains, each with a nameplate capacity of 1 million metric tons/year (mmty), for an aggregate nameplate capacity of 6 mmty and a maximum output at optimal operating conditions of 6.95 mmty on the Brownsville Ship Channel [CP16-480]. Annova, a unit of Exelon Corp., has said the project would meet the requirements of multiple foreign purchasers whose annual demand is best met with increments of 1 mmty.

According to Sierra Club, the final environmental impact statement for the project incorrectly concluded "that direct and cumulative LNG vessel traffic would have only a 'moderate' impact on commercial shrimpers and fishers, despite preventing them from using the Brownsville Shipping Channel at an estimated cumulative 39 hours per week..."

FERC's approval of the Annova LNG application came on the same day the agency approved two other LNG export projects for Cameron County, TX (Texas LNG Brownsville LLC [CP16-116] and Rio Grande LNG [CP16-454, CP16-455]) and certificated an additional liquefaction train to be located at Cheniere Energy Inc.'s existing South Texas export facility [CP18-512].