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Bayou Casotte LNG Project Gets Environmental OK

FERC Friday issued a favorable final environmental review of a 1.3 Bcf/d liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal proposed by Chevron Corp. subsidiary Bayou Casotte Energy LLC on a 260-acre site near Chevron's refinery in Pascagoula, MS.

"Approval of the Casotte Landing LNG Project, with appropriate mitigating measures as recommended, would have limited adverse environmental impact," the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded in the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) on the import terminal and associated pipeline facilities [CP05-420]. FERC typically issues a project certificate within days or weeks of a favorable FEIS.

The project calls for the construction of a ship unloading facility with a single berth capable of receiving LNG ships with cargo capacities of up to 200,000 cubic meters; three 160,000 cubic meter LNG storage tanks; a closed-loop intermediate fluid vaporizer system utilizing cooling water from the adjacent Chevron refinery as a heat source, sized for a nominal sendout of 1.3 Bcf/d; and five pipeline interconnects originating from a 1.5 mile, 36-inch diameter spur.

Staff said construction of the terminal will require significant dredging that would have direct and indirect impacts on aquatic resources, potentially impairing water quality, destruction of benthic habitat and impacts on fish. However, staff doesn't expect significant adverse impacts.

Construction of the Chevron project would permanently affect 147 acres of low- to medium-quality wetlands. Chevron has proposed to provide compensatory mitigation for unavoidable, permanent wetland impacts through mitigation banking. Staff also concludes that impacts to onshore wildlife would be minimal.

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