A pair of liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal proposals on seemingly different trajectories — one ascending, the other trying to break its fall — eye separate hearings in their respective locales of Oregon and Southern California later this month.
A project along the Columbia River in Oregon appears to be moving forward, while the other, targeted for Long Beach, CA, Harbor, is trying to restart after local authorities abandoned a nearly completed environmental review early this year.
NorthernStar Natural Gas Co. is preparing for a day-long public hearing Oct. 22 on its land use permit from Clatsop County, OR. The elected county commission is expected to make a final determination by the end of November, according to NorthernStar’s local representative for its $600 million Bradwood Landing LNG project. The county planning commission has already approved the zoning change, but that action needs to be upheld by the elected body.
In the meantime, the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) is out for comment, and public hearings will be conducted in the future. NorthernStar is touting its environmental commitment, including state-of-the-art accident avoidance and minimization steps, robust mitigation and what it called “substantial and sustained enhancement,” as something that will result in “significant net ecological benefit” to the lower Columbia region and a favorable environmental review of the project.
Further south, a proposed harbor LNG receiving terminal backed by a joint venture of Mitsubishi Corp. and ConocoPhillips in the Sound Energy Solutions (SES) project group is counting on a California Superior Court hearing in Los Angeles Oct. 31 to force the completion of a joint environmental review that was close to being concluded by the Port of Long Beach and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“Sometime shortly thereafter we would expect a ruling from the court,” SES Executive Vice President Tom Giles told NGI Tuesday. Talks with the city are “ongoing,” said Giles, noting “we see and talk to people from the city all the time, but we do need to win this court case. If we do, I think we are going to have lots of support.”
Giles thinks a favorable court ruling will force the draft EIS and environmental impact report (EIR) to be completed, and that in turn will allow SES to get the go-ahead eventually to begin building its proposed $800 million, 1 Bcf/d receiving terminal.
“The Harbor Commission wrongly curtailed an established environmental process that is designed to objectively evaluate the project on a comprehensive basis and provide the facts to government agencies and the public so they can make an informed decision,” Giles said last February at the time of the company court filing.
While the court cannot force the Long Beach city government to begin negotiating again for a lease and pipeline right-of-way, Giles said he expects the final EIS/EIR to be “positive” and, if it is, SES will be “in a good position to move the project forward.”
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