FERC and several other federal agencies Friday issued a favorable initial environmental review of Bradwood Landing LLC's proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Pacific Northwest and NorthernStar Energy LLC's associated pipeline project.

"The Bradwood Landing project has the potential for limited significant environmental impacts. However, if the project is constructed and operated according to applicable laws and regulations, and with implementation of NorthernStar's proposed mitigation measures, and additional measures recommended by the agency staffs, we believe the environmental impacts would be substantially reduced," said the staffs of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Transportation in a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) on the two projects.

Because the terminal project would be sited in the Pacific Northwest, the DEIS noted it faces a number of unique concerns -- potential earthquakes and landslides. And like other terminal facilities, it faces the possibility of accidental or intentional releases of LNG. If that should happen, the DEIS said the effect "would be fairly limited in area and short-lived."

The proposed terminal would be located on a 40-acre site at the former townsite of Bradwood in Clatsop County, OR, which is about 38 miles up the Columbia River -- the main economic artery for the Pacific Northwest. The project, which would provide up to 1.3 Bcf of natural gas to the region, has become a politically charged issue in Oregon and Washington, with state legislators and landowners opposing it (see NGI, July 2).

The project calls for the construction of a single ship berth capable of receiving and unloading LNG tankers with capacities ranging from 100,000 to 200,000 cubic meters; two 160,000 cubic meter storage tanks; a 36.3-mile, high-pressure pipeline in Clatsop and Columbia counties, OR, and Cowlitz County, WA; and associated pipeline support facilities [CP06-365, CP06-366].

The sendout pipe would extend from the proposed terminal to an interconnect with Williams' Northwest Pipeline system north of Kelso, WA. Between the terminal project and the terminus of the Northwest system, the sendout pipeline would tie in with Northwest Natural Gas Co.'s pipeline system, Georgia Pacific's Wauna paper mill and Portland General Electric's Beaver Power Plant.

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