FERC has granted a request by affiliates of Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) to introduce hazardous fluids to commission loading pumps that would feed a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tank at the Elba Island LNG Terminal near Savannah, GA. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission already has authorized Elba Liquefaction Co. LLC and Southern LNG Co. LLC to begin commissioning fuel for the facility [CP14-103]. In 2016, FERC approved KMI’s plan to add liquefaction and export capability to the existing terminal and make modifications to existing pipelines in support of the project, which is expected to cost an estimated $2 billion. The first of 10 liquefaction units is slated to begin service before the end of March, with the remaining nine units coming online throughout 2019, according to KMI.

The American Petroleum Institute has released an updated report that provides procedures for promoting and maintaining safe and healthy working conditions for personnel in drilling and well servicing operations. The document, first published in 1981, applies to rotary drilling rigs, well servicing rigs, and special services as they relate to operations on location. The latest edition includes a new section on flowback operations, revised requirements for facility and site process hazard assessment and mitigation, and introduction of formal risk assessments as well as expanded provisions for offshore operations.

Conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding a combined-cycle natural gas-fired generation plant approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC) for Palmdale, CA. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, concerns the proposed 634 MW plant, which has been on hold for certification as a developer and long-term contracts are sought. The lawsuit alleges that EPA “failed to adequately consider requiring clean-energy alternatives” to limit air pollution. The project would be a hybrid gas and solar power generation project approved by the CEC to transform an industrial site in northern Los Angeles County. It originally was slated to begin commercial operations in 2013.