The backers of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) project along the Oregon side of the Columbia River filed a 3,700-page biological assessment of its site, including a salmon-saving program, on Wednesday with FERC. NorthernStar Natural Gas described the document as a key to getting the final federal environmental assessment on its proposed 1 Bcf/d receiving terminal and related pipeline.

Along with the biological assessment, NorthernStar submitted its environmental compensatory mitigation plan, describing it as a “key part of the biological assessment that will be used by state and federal agencies to determine compliance with mitigation standards.” It is the sponsors’ contention that the mitigation plan “far exceeds” state and federal requirements, and together with the voluntary salmon program, it comprises the project’s overall environmental commitment.

Bradwood is the second of the three most active LNG proposals in Oregon to kick up some dust at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in early June just at the Northwest Gas Association (NWGA) was holding an all-day conference on the region’s gas supply outlook Wednesday in Portland. Earlier the Jordan Cove LNG project and related pipeline pushed FERC to accelerate the date for releasing the draft environmental assessment on the project at Coos Bay, OR, in an international harbor along the south-central coast of the state (see Daily GPI, June 4).

An official with Jordan Cove said the project backers expect more pushback regarding the 230-mile, 36-inch diameter gas pipeline, the joint venture Pacific Connector, than they will encounter regarding the relatively small proposed LNG terminal.

Canadian-based Fort Chicago LNG II LP and engineering firm EDP LLC are the backers of the terminal, which is seeking potential sources of LNG as it moves through the permitting/siting process. Fort Chicago also has a stake in Pacific Connector Pipeline as a partner along with units of Williams and PG&E Strategic Capital Inc. The latter trio so far has picked up nonbinding interest in pipeline capacity that the companies say equals 1.5 Bcf/d.

Bob Braddock, Jordan Cove project manager, told NGI a day before the NWGA conference that he would like the FERC draft environmental assessment released by the end of July, but it is likely to be a month later since the federal regulatory commission staff has many other LNG and other high-profile energy projects.

NorthernStar exuded the same urgency in promoting its biological assessment filing, including what it is characterizing as “the largest private-sector commitment ever to improve the Lower Columbia River watershed health” in its salmon enhancement program. “Bradwood is committed to sustainable development and a lasting legacy of environmental excellence, ” said NorthernStar CEO William “Si” Garrett.

Taking credit for proposing what he called “long-term, comprehensive” mitigation measures, Garrett said he hopes to start construction next year and be operational in 2013 with the promise that the LNG project will create jobs, pay all needed safety and security upgrades on the Columbia River and “provide a net ecological benefit for the Lower Columbia River.”

Garrett called the plans “a new model for sustainable development and corporate responsibility.”

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