Deepwater Port License Application: Delfin LNG LLC; Delfin LNG Deepwater Port; Final Application Public Hearing and Final Environmental Impact Statement, 85678-85681 [2016-27297]

Download as PDF 85678 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 228 / Monday, November 28, 2016 / Notices compliance through its current oversight procedures either during the triennial review, state management review, planning certification review, the STIP approval process, and the Section 5307 grant application process. Given that this policy guidance imposes no new requirements, FTA is not requesting public comment. Carolyn Flowers, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2016–28479 Filed 11–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration [Docket No. USCG–2015–0472] Deepwater Port License Application: Delfin LNG LLC; Delfin LNG Deepwater Port; Final Application Public Hearing and Final Environmental Impact Statement Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice of availability; notice of public hearing; request for comments. AGENCY: The Maritime Administration (MARAD), in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), announces: (1) The schedule and locations of public hearings; and (2) the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Delfin LNG, LLC (Delfin LNG) deepwater port license application for the exportation of natural gas. A Notice of Application that summarized the original Delfin LNG deepwater port license application was published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2015 (80 FR 42162). A Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Notice of Public Meetings was published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2015 (80 FR 45270). A Notice of Receipt of Amended Application was published in the Federal Register on December 24, 2015 (80 FR 80455). A Notice of Availability (NOA) and Notice of Public Meetings for the Draft EIS was published in the Federal Register July 15, 2016 (81 FR 46157). This NOA incorporates the aforementioned Notices by reference. The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port would be located in Federal waters within the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) approximately 37.4 to 40.8 nautical miles off the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port incorporates onshore components, mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:15 Nov 25, 2016 Jkt 241001 which are subject to FERC jurisdiction. These facilities are described in the section of this Notice titled ‘‘FERC Application.’’ Publication of this notice begins a 45day comment period, requests public participation in the environmental impact review process, provides information on how to participate in the process and announces final public hearings in Cameron, Louisiana and Beaumont, Texas. The Final EIS complies with the Deepwater Port Act of 1974, as amended (33 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1501 et seq.) (DWPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)) (NEPA), as implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR 1500 to 1508). MARAD and the USCG request public comments on the Final EIS and the application. Pursuant to the criteria provided in the DWPA, both Louisiana and Texas have been designated as Adjacent Coastal States (ACS) for this application. DATES: MARAD and USCG will hold two public hearings in connection with the license application’s Final EIS. The first public hearing will be held in Cameron, Louisiana, on December 13, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The second public hearing will be held in Beaumont, Texas, on December 14, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Each public hearing will be preceded by an open house from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The public hearing may end later than the stated time, depending on the number of persons who wish to make a comment on the record. Additionally, material you submit in response to the request for comments must reach www.regulations.gov by close of business January 12, 2017, or 45 days after the date of publication of this NOA in the Federal Register, whichever is later. Federal and State agencies must also submit comments, recommended conditions for licensing, or letters of no objection by Friday, January 12, 2017, or 45 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register, whichever is later. Also, within 45 days following the final hearing, on or prior to January 30, 2017, the Governor of Louisiana and the Governor of Texas (ACS Governors) may approve, disapprove, or notify MARAD of inconsistencies with State programs relating to environmental protection, land and water use, and coastal zone management for which MARAD may ensure consistency by placing conditions on the license. MARAD must issue a Record of Decision (ROD) to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the deepwater PO 00000 Frm 00171 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 port license application, within 90 days following the final license hearing, on or prior to March 14, 2017. ADDRESSES: The open house and public hearing in Cameron, Louisiana will be held at the Johnson Bayou Community Center, 5556 Gulf Beach Highway, Cameron, LA, 70631; telephone: 337– 569–2454. Free parking is available at the Community Center. The open house and public hearing in Beaumont, Texas will be held at the Holiday Inn Beaumont Plaza, 3950 Walden Road, Beaumont, Texas 77705; telephone: 409–842–5995. Free parking is available at the Holiday Inn Beaumont Plaza. The license application, comments, supporting information and the Final EIS are available for viewing at the Regulations.gov Web site: http:// www.regulations.gov under docket number USCG–2015–0472. We encourage you to submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov. If you submit your comments electronically, it is not necessary to also submit a hard copy. If you cannot submit material using http:// www.regulations.gov, please contact either Mr. Roddy Bachman, USCG or Ms. Yvette M. Fields, MARAD, as listed in the following FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. This section provides alternate instructions for submitting written comments. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted. Anonymous comments will be accepted. All comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Roddy Bachman, USCG, telephone: 202–372–1451, email: Roddy.C.Bachman@uscg.mil; or Ms. Yvette M. Fields, Director, Office of Deepwater Ports and Offshore Activities, MARAD, telephone: 202– 366–0926, email: Yvette.Fields@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Request for Comments We request public comments on the Final EIS and the application. We also encourage attendance at the open houses and public hearings; however, the public hearing is not the only opportunity you have to comment. You may submit comments electronically at any time, as described in above in ADDRESSES, to http:// www.regulations.gov under docket number USCG–2015–0472. E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 228 / Monday, November 28, 2016 / Notices Regardless of the method you use to submit comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal Docket Operations Facility Web site (http:// www.regulations.gov), and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy and Use Notice that is available on the http:// www.regulations.gov Web site, and the Department of Transportation (DOT) Privacy Act Notice that appeared in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), see PRIVACY ACT. You may view docket submissions at the DOT Docket Operations Facility or electronically at the http:// www.regulations.gov Web site. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Public Hearing and Open House The open houses, public hearings and docket comments will be used by MARAD to inform the Maritime Administrator’s decision making process, including the ROD and any conditions that may be placed on a subsequent license to own, construct and operate a deepwater port. You are invited to learn about the proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port at either of the informational open houses and to comment at the public hearings on the proposed action and the environmental impact analysis contained in the Final EIS. Speakers may register upon arrival and will be recognized in the following order: (1) Elected officials; (2) public agency representatives; then (3) individuals or groups in the order in which they registered. In order to accommodate all speakers, speaker time may be limited, hearing hours may be extended, or both. Speakers’ transcribed remarks will be included in the public docket. You may also submit written material for inclusion in the public docket. Written material must include the author’s name. We ask attendees to respect the hearing process in order to ensure a constructive information-gathering session. Please do not bring signs or banners inside the hearing venue. The presiding officer will use his/her discretion to conduct the hearing in an orderly manner. Public hearing locations are wheelchair accessible; however, attendees who require special assistance such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodation, should notify the USCG (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) at least five (5) business days in advance. Please include contact information as well as information about specific needs. VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:15 Nov 25, 2016 Jkt 241001 Background On May 8, 2015, as supplemented on June 19, 2015, MARAD and USCG received an application from Delfin LNG for all Federal authorizations required for a license to own, construct and operate a deepwater port for the export of natural gas. The proposed deepwater port would be located in Federal waters approximately 37.4 to 40.8 nautical miles off the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Louisiana and Texas were designated as ACSs for the Delfin LNG license application. A Notice of Application was published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2015 (80 FR 42162). On July 29, 2015, a NOI to Prepare an EIS and Notice of Public Meetings was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 45270). MARAD and USCG hosted two public scoping meetings in connection with the original Delfin LNG deepwater port license application.1 The first public scoping meeting was held in Lake Charles, Louisiana on August 18, 2015; the second public scoping meeting was held in Beaumont, Texas on August 19, 2015. Transcripts of the scoping meetings are included in the public docket. After the public scoping meetings concluded, Delfin LNG advised MARAD, the USCG and FERC of its intent to amend the original license application. In anticipation of the amended license application, MARAD and USCG issued a regulatory ‘‘stop-clock’’ letter to Delfin LNG on September 18, 2015. That letter commenced a regulatory ‘‘stop-clock,’’ effective September 18, 2015, which remained in effect until MARAD and USCG received the amended license application and determined it contained sufficient information to continue the Federal review process. On November 19, 2015, Delfin LNG submitted its amended license application to MARAD and USCG and a Notice of Receipt of Amended Application was published in the Federal Register on December 24, 2015 (80 FR 80455). Working in coordination with participating Federal and State agencies, MARAD and USCG commenced processing the amended license application and completed the Draft EIS. A NOA and Notice of Public Meetings for the Draft EIS was published in the Federal Register July 15, 2016 (81 FR 46157). MARAD and the USCG hosted two Draft EIS public 1 The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission did not have a representative in attendance; however, to the extent any were made, comments related to the construction and operation of the FERC jurisdictional Delfin Onshore Facility were received into the administrative record. PO 00000 Frm 00172 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 85679 meetings in connection with the Delfin LNG deepwater port license application. The first public meeting was held in Cameron, Louisiana on August 9, 2016; the second public scoping meeting was held in Beaumont, Texas on August 10, 2016. Transcripts of the scoping meetings are included in the public docket under docket number USCG– 2015–0472. The Final EIS, application materials and associated comments are currently available for public review at the Federal docket Web site: www.regulations.gov under docket number USCG–2015–0472. Proposed Action and Alternatives USCG and MARAD are co-lead Federal agencies for the preparation of the Final EIS; MARAD is the Federal licensing agency (action agency). The proposed action requiring environmental review is the Federal licensing of the proposed deepwater port described in the ‘‘Summary of the License Application’’ below. The alternatives to licensing the proposed port are: (1) Licensing with conditions (including conditions designed to mitigate environmental impact) and (2) denying the application, which, for purposes of environmental review, is the ‘‘no-action’’ alternative. These alternatives are more fully discussed in the Final EIS. You can address any questions about the proposed action or the Final EIS to USCG or MARAD project managers identified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Summary of the License Application Delfin LNG has applied for a MARADissued license to construct, own, operate and eventually decommission a deepwater port in the Gulf of Mexico to liquefy domestically-sourced natural gas for export. Exports are proposed to both Free Trade Agreement nations and nonFree Trade Agreement nations, in accordance with the Department of Energy export license approvals. The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port has both onshore and offshore components. The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port would be located in Federal waters within the OCS West Cameron (WC) Area, West Addition Protraction Area (Gulf of Mexico) approximately 37.4 to 40.8 nautical miles off the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, in water depths ranging from approximately 64 to 72 feet (19.5 to 21.9 meters). The Delfin LNG deepwater port would consist of four semi-permanently moored Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Vessels (FLNGVs) located as follows: No. 1 (29°8′13.1″ N/93°32′2.2″ W), No. 2 (29°6′13.6″ N/93°32′42.4″ W), No. 3 E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 85680 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 228 / Monday, November 28, 2016 / Notices (29°6′40.7″ N/93°30′10.1″ W) and No. 4 (29°4′40.9″ N/93°30′51.8″ W) located in WC lease blocks 319, 327, 328 and 334, respectively. The Delfin LNG deepwater port would reuse and repurpose two existing offshore natural gas pipelines; the former U–T Operating System (UTOS) pipeline and the High Island Offshore System (HIOS) pipeline. Four new 30-inch diameter pipeline laterals, each approximately 6,400 feet in length, connecting the HIOS pipeline to each of the FLNGVs, would be constructed. In addition, a 700-foot 42-inch diameter new pipeline would be constructed to bypass a platform at WC lease block 167 (WC 167) and connect the UTOS and HIOS pipelines. Feed gas would be supplied through the new pipeline laterals to each of the FLNGVs where it would be super-cooled to produce LNG. The LNG would be stored onboard the FLNGVs and transferred via ship-to-ship transfer to properly certified LNG tankers. Each of the FLNGVs would be semi-permanently moored to four new weathervaning tower yoke mooring systems (TYMS). The onshore components in Cameron Parish, Louisiana are described specifically in an application originally submitted to FERC (see FERC Application). The onshore components of the Delfin LNG deepwater port would consist of constructing and operating a new natural gas compressor station, gas supply header and a metering station at an existing gas facility. The proposal would require: (1) Reactivation of approximately 1.1 miles of existing 42inch pipeline, formerly owned by UTOS, which runs from Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company Station No. 44 (Transco Station 44) to the mean highwater mark along the Cameron Parish Coast; (2) installation of 120,000 horsepower of new compression; (3) construction of 0.25 miles of 42-inch pipeline to connect the former UTOS line to the new meter station; and (4) construction of 0.6 miles of twin 30-inch pipelines between Transco Station 44 and the new compressor station. Onshore pipeline quality natural gas from the interstate grid would be sent to the existing, but currently idle, 42-inch UTOS pipeline. The gas transported through the UTOS pipeline would then bypass the existing manifold platform located at WC 167 via a newly installed pipeline segment, 700 feet in length, connecting to the existing 42-inch HIOS pipeline. The bypass of the WC 167 platform would be trenched so that the top of the pipe is a minimum of 3 feet below the seafloor. From the bypass, the feed gas would then be transported further VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:15 Nov 25, 2016 Jkt 241001 offshore using the HIOS pipeline portion leased by Delfin LNG between WC 167 and High Island A264 OCS lease block. The existing UTOS and HIOS pipelines transect OCS Lease Blocks WC 314, 318, 319, 327 and 335, and would transport feed gas from onshore to offshore (one-directional flow). Delfin LNG proposes to install four new lateral pipelines along the HIOS pipeline, starting approximately 16.0 nautical miles south of the WC 167 platform. Each subsea lateral pipeline would be 30 inches in diameter and approximately 6,400 feet in length, extending from the HIOS pipeline to the Delfin LNG deepwater port. The maximum allowable operating pressure of the pipeline system (UTOS, bypass, HIOS and laterals) would be 1,250 pounds per square inch gauge (psig). The FLNGVs would receive pipeline quality natural gas via the laterals and TYMS, and then, using onboard liquefaction equipment, cool it sufficiently to completely condense the gas and produce LNG. The produced LNG would be stored in International Maritime Organization (IMO) type B, prismatic, independent LNG storage tanks aboard each of the FLNGVs. Each vessel would have a total LNG storage capacity of 210,000 cubic meters (m3). An offloading mooring system would be provided on each FLNGV to moor an LNG tanker side-by-side for cargo transfer of LNG through loading arms or cryogenic hoses using ship-to-ship transfer procedures. LNG tankers would be moored with pilot and tug assist. The FLNGVs would be equipped with fenders and quick-release hooks to facilitate mooring and unmooring operations. The offloading system would be capable of accommodating standard LNG tankers with nominal cargo capacities up to 170,000 m3. Delfin LNG estimates that the typical LNG cargo transfer operation would be carried out within 24 hours, including LNG tanker berthing, cargo transfer and sail-away. Approximately 31 LNG tankers are expected to visit each of the four FLNGVs per year for a total of up to 124 cargo transfer operations per year. Each LNG tanker would be assisted by up to three tugs during approach and mooring and up to two tugs while departing the Delfin LNG deepwater port. The FLNGVs would be self-propelled vessels and have the ability to disconnect from the TYMS and set sail to avoid hurricanes or to facilitate required inspections, maintenance and repairs. In the nominal design case, based on an estimated availability of 92 percent and allowance for consumption of feed PO 00000 Frm 00173 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 gas during the liquefaction process, each of the four FLNGVs would produce approximately 146 billion standard cubic feet per year (Bscf/y) of gas (approximately 3.0 million metric tonnes per annum [MMtpa]) for export in the form of LNG. Together, the four FLNGVs are designed to have the capability to export 585 Bscf/y of gas (approximately 12.0 MMtpa). As detailed engineering and equipment specification advances during the design process and operating efficiencies are gained postcommissioning, the liquefaction process could perform better than this nominal design case. It is anticipated that LNG output could improve to as much as 657.5 Bscf/y in the optimized design case (approximately 13.2 MMtpa) which is the amount Delfin LNG is requesting authorization to export. The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port would take a modular implementation approach to allow for early market entry and accommodate market shifts. Offshore construction activities are proposed to begin at the end of the first quarter of 2018 and would be completed in four stages, with each stage corresponding to the commissioning and operation of an FLNGV. The anticipated commissioning of FLNGV 1 is the third quarter of 2019 with start-up of commercial operation of FLNGV 1 by the end of 2019. It is anticipated that FLNGVs 2 through 4 would be commissioned 12 months apart. Following this schedule and barring unforeseen events, the Delfin LNG deepwater port would be completed and all four FLNGVs would be fully operational by the summer of 2022. Should a license be issued, the Delfin LNG deepwater port would be designed, fabricated, constructed, commissioned, maintained, inspected and operated in accordance with applicable codes and standards and with USCG oversight as regulated under Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), subchapter NN–Deepwater Ports (33 CFR 148, 149 and 150). This includes applicable waterways management and regulated navigations areas, maritime safety and security requirements, risk assessment and compliance with domestic and international laws and regulations for vessels that may call at the port. FERC Application On May 8, 2015, Delfin LNG filed its original application with FERC requesting authorizations pursuant to the Natural Gas Act and 18 CFR part 157 for the onshore components of the proposed deepwater port terminal including authorization to use the E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 228 / Monday, November 28, 2016 / Notices existing pipeline infrastructure, which includes leasing a segment of pipeline from HIOS extending from the terminus of the UTOS pipeline offshore. On May 20, 2015, FERC issued its Notice of Application for the onshore components of Delfin LNG’s deepwater port project in Docket No. CP15–490–000. This Notice was published in the Federal Register on May 27, 2015 (80 FR 30226). Delfin LNG stated in its application that High Island Offshore System, LLC would submit a separate application with FERC seeking authorization to abandon by lease its facilities to Delfin LNG. FERC, however, advised Delfin LNG that it would not begin processing Delfin LNG’s application until such time that MARAD and USCG deemed Delfin LNG’s deepwater port license application complete and High Island Offshore System, LLC submitted an abandonment application with FERC. On June 29, 2015, MARAD and USCG accepted the documentation and deemed the original Delfin LNG license application complete. On November 19, 2015, High Island Offshore System, LLC filed an application (FERC Docket No. CP16–20– 000) to abandon certain offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, including its 66-mile-long mainline, an offshore platform and related facilities (‘‘HIOS Repurposed Facilities’’). Accordingly, on November 19, 2015, Delfin LNG filed an amended application in FERC Docket No. CP15– 490–001 to use the HIOS Repurposed Facilities and to revise the onshore component of its deepwater port project. On December 1, 2015, FERC issued a Notice of Application for Delfin LNG’s amendment, which was published in the Federal Register on December 7, 2015 (80 FR 76003). The amended FERC application specifically discusses the onshore facility and adjustments to the onshore operations that would involve reactivating approximately 1.1 miles of the existing UTOS pipeline; the addition of four new onshore compressors totaling 120,000 horsepower of new compression; activation of associated metering and regulation facilities; the installation of new supply header pipelines (which would consist of 0.25 miles of new 42inch-diameter pipeline to connect the former UTOS line to the new meter station); and 0.6 miles of new twin 30inch-diameter pipelines between Transco Station 44 and the new compressor station site. Additional information regarding the details of Delfin LNG’s original and amended application to FERC is on file and open to public inspection. Project VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:15 Nov 25, 2016 Jkt 241001 filings may be viewed at the www.ferc.gov Web site using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP15–490) in the docket number field to access project information. For assistance, please contact FERC at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or call toll-free, (886) 208–3676 or TYY, (202) 502–8659. Privacy Act In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT/MARAD solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT/MARAD posts these comments, without edit, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice, DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS, accessible through www.dot.gov/privacy. In order to facilitate comment tracking and response, we encourage commenters to provide their name, or the name of their organization; however, submission of names is completely optional. Whether or not commenters identify themselves, all timely comments will be fully considered. If you wish to provide comments containing proprietary or confidential information, please contact the agency for alternate submission instructions. Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., 49 CFR 1.93(h). Dated: November 8, 2016. By Order of the Maritime Administrator. T. Mitchell Hudson, Jr., Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2016–27297 Filed 11–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2016–0124; Notice 1] General Motors LLC, Receipt of Petition for Inconsequentiality and Decision Granting Request To File Out of Time and Request for Deferral of Determination National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice of receipt of petition and decision granting partial relief. AGENCY: On May 16, 2016, TK Holdings Inc. (Takata) filed a defect information report (DIR), in which it determined that a defect existed in certain passenger-side air bag inflators that it manufactured, including passenger inflators that it supplied to SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00174 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 85681 General Motors, LLC (GM) for use in certain GMT900 vehicles. GM has petitioned the Agency for a decision that, because of differences in inflator design and vehicle integration, the equipment defect determined to exist by Takata is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety in the GMT900 vehicles, and that GM should therefore be relieved of its notification and remedy obligations. DATES: The closing date for comments is September 14, 2017. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments regarding this petition for inconsequentiality. Comments must refer to the docket and notice number cited in the title of this notice and be submitted by one of the following methods: • Internet: Go to http:// www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, M–30, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Room W12– 140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery or Courier: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Facsimile: (202) 493–2251. You may call the Docket at (202) 366– 9324. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Thus, submitting such information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy Act notice, which can be viewed by clicking on the ‘‘Privacy and Security Notice’’ link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov. DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78). The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the docket and will be considered. Comments and supporting materials received after the closing date will also be filed and will be considered to the extent possible. When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated at the end of this notice. E:\FR\FM\28NON1.SGM 28NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 228 (Monday, November 28, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 85678-85681]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-27297]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Maritime Administration

[Docket No. USCG-2015-0472]


Deepwater Port License Application: Delfin LNG LLC; Delfin LNG 
Deepwater Port; Final Application Public Hearing and Final 
Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation.

ACTION: Notice of availability; notice of public hearing; request for 
comments.

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SUMMARY: The Maritime Administration (MARAD), in cooperation with the 
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
(FERC), announces: (1) The schedule and locations of public hearings; 
and (2) the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) for the Delfin LNG, LLC (Delfin LNG) deepwater port license 
application for the exportation of natural gas.
    A Notice of Application that summarized the original Delfin LNG 
deepwater port license application was published in the Federal 
Register on July 16, 2015 (80 FR 42162). A Notice of Intent (NOI) to 
Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Notice of Public 
Meetings was published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2015 (80 FR 
45270). A Notice of Receipt of Amended Application was published in the 
Federal Register on December 24, 2015 (80 FR 80455). A Notice of 
Availability (NOA) and Notice of Public Meetings for the Draft EIS was 
published in the Federal Register July 15, 2016 (81 FR 46157). This NOA 
incorporates the aforementioned Notices by reference.
    The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port would be located in Federal 
waters within the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) approximately 37.4 to 
40.8 nautical miles off the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana.
    The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port incorporates onshore 
components, which are subject to FERC jurisdiction. These facilities 
are described in the section of this Notice titled ``FERC 
Application.''
    Publication of this notice begins a 45-day comment period, requests 
public participation in the environmental impact review process, 
provides information on how to participate in the process and announces 
final public hearings in Cameron, Louisiana and Beaumont, Texas. The 
Final EIS complies with the Deepwater Port Act of 1974, as amended (33 
United States Code (U.S.C.) 1501 et seq.) (DWPA) and the National 
Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)) (NEPA), as implemented 
by the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR 1500 to 
1508). MARAD and the USCG request public comments on the Final EIS and 
the application.
    Pursuant to the criteria provided in the DWPA, both Louisiana and 
Texas have been designated as Adjacent Coastal States (ACS) for this 
application.

DATES: MARAD and USCG will hold two public hearings in connection with 
the license application's Final EIS. The first public hearing will be 
held in Cameron, Louisiana, on December 13, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
The second public hearing will be held in Beaumont, Texas, on December 
14, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Each public hearing will be preceded by 
an open house from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The public hearing may end 
later than the stated time, depending on the number of persons who wish 
to make a comment on the record. Additionally, material you submit in 
response to the request for comments must reach www.regulations.gov by 
close of business January 12, 2017, or 45 days after the date of 
publication of this NOA in the Federal Register, whichever is later.
    Federal and State agencies must also submit comments, recommended 
conditions for licensing, or letters of no objection by Friday, January 
12, 2017, or 45 days after publication of this notice in the Federal 
Register, whichever is later. Also, within 45 days following the final 
hearing, on or prior to January 30, 2017, the Governor of Louisiana and 
the Governor of Texas (ACS Governors) may approve, disapprove, or 
notify MARAD of inconsistencies with State programs relating to 
environmental protection, land and water use, and coastal zone 
management for which MARAD may ensure consistency by placing conditions 
on the license.
    MARAD must issue a Record of Decision (ROD) to approve, approve 
with conditions, or deny the deepwater port license application, within 
90 days following the final license hearing, on or prior to March 14, 
2017.

ADDRESSES: The open house and public hearing in Cameron, Louisiana will 
be held at the Johnson Bayou Community Center, 5556 Gulf Beach Highway, 
Cameron, LA, 70631; telephone: 337-569-2454. Free parking is available 
at the Community Center. The open house and public hearing in Beaumont, 
Texas will be held at the Holiday Inn Beaumont Plaza, 3950 Walden Road, 
Beaumont, Texas 77705; telephone: 409-842-5995. Free parking is 
available at the Holiday Inn Beaumont Plaza.
    The license application, comments, supporting information and the 
Final EIS are available for viewing at the Regulations.gov Web site: 
http://www.regulations.gov under docket number USCG-2015-0472.
    We encourage you to submit comments electronically through the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If you submit 
your comments electronically, it is not necessary to also submit a hard 
copy. If you cannot submit material using http://www.regulations.gov, 
please contact either Mr. Roddy Bachman, USCG or Ms. Yvette M. Fields, 
MARAD, as listed in the following FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section of this document. This section provides alternate instructions 
for submitting written comments. Additionally, if you go to the online 
docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments 
are posted. Anonymous comments will be accepted. All comments received 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will 
include any personal information you have provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Roddy Bachman, USCG, telephone: 
202-372-1451, email: Roddy.C.Bachman@uscg.mil; or Ms. Yvette M. Fields, 
Director, Office of Deepwater Ports and Offshore Activities, MARAD, 
telephone: 202-366-0926, email: Yvette.Fields@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

    We request public comments on the Final EIS and the application. We 
also encourage attendance at the open houses and public hearings; 
however, the public hearing is not the only opportunity you have to 
comment. You may submit comments electronically at any time, as 
described in above in ADDRESSES, to http://www.regulations.gov under 
docket number USCG-2015-0472.

[[Page 85679]]

    Regardless of the method you use to submit comments or material, 
all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal Docket 
Operations Facility Web site (http://www.regulations.gov), and will 
include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting 
this information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy and 
Use Notice that is available on the http://www.regulations.gov Web 
site, and the Department of Transportation (DOT) Privacy Act Notice 
that appeared in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), 
see PRIVACY ACT. You may view docket submissions at the DOT Docket 
Operations Facility or electronically at the http://www.regulations.gov 
Web site.

Public Hearing and Open House

    The open houses, public hearings and docket comments will be used 
by MARAD to inform the Maritime Administrator's decision making 
process, including the ROD and any conditions that may be placed on a 
subsequent license to own, construct and operate a deepwater port.
    You are invited to learn about the proposed Delfin LNG deepwater 
port at either of the informational open houses and to comment at the 
public hearings on the proposed action and the environmental impact 
analysis contained in the Final EIS. Speakers may register upon arrival 
and will be recognized in the following order: (1) Elected officials; 
(2) public agency representatives; then (3) individuals or groups in 
the order in which they registered. In order to accommodate all 
speakers, speaker time may be limited, hearing hours may be extended, 
or both. Speakers' transcribed remarks will be included in the public 
docket. You may also submit written material for inclusion in the 
public docket. Written material must include the author's name. We ask 
attendees to respect the hearing process in order to ensure a 
constructive information-gathering session. Please do not bring signs 
or banners inside the hearing venue. The presiding officer will use 
his/her discretion to conduct the hearing in an orderly manner.
    Public hearing locations are wheelchair accessible; however, 
attendees who require special assistance such as sign language 
interpretation or other reasonable accommodation, should notify the 
USCG (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) at least five (5) business 
days in advance. Please include contact information as well as 
information about specific needs.

Background

    On May 8, 2015, as supplemented on June 19, 2015, MARAD and USCG 
received an application from Delfin LNG for all Federal authorizations 
required for a license to own, construct and operate a deepwater port 
for the export of natural gas. The proposed deepwater port would be 
located in Federal waters approximately 37.4 to 40.8 nautical miles off 
the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Louisiana and Texas were 
designated as ACSs for the Delfin LNG license application. A Notice of 
Application was published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2015 (80 
FR 42162).
    On July 29, 2015, a NOI to Prepare an EIS and Notice of Public 
Meetings was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 45270). MARAD and 
USCG hosted two public scoping meetings in connection with the original 
Delfin LNG deepwater port license application.\1\ The first public 
scoping meeting was held in Lake Charles, Louisiana on August 18, 2015; 
the second public scoping meeting was held in Beaumont, Texas on August 
19, 2015. Transcripts of the scoping meetings are included in the 
public docket. After the public scoping meetings concluded, Delfin LNG 
advised MARAD, the USCG and FERC of its intent to amend the original 
license application.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission did not have a 
representative in attendance; however, to the extent any were made, 
comments related to the construction and operation of the FERC 
jurisdictional Delfin Onshore Facility were received into the 
administrative record.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In anticipation of the amended license application, MARAD and USCG 
issued a regulatory ``stop-clock'' letter to Delfin LNG on September 
18, 2015. That letter commenced a regulatory ``stop-clock,'' effective 
September 18, 2015, which remained in effect until MARAD and USCG 
received the amended license application and determined it contained 
sufficient information to continue the Federal review process. On 
November 19, 2015, Delfin LNG submitted its amended license application 
to MARAD and USCG and a Notice of Receipt of Amended Application was 
published in the Federal Register on December 24, 2015 (80 FR 80455).
    Working in coordination with participating Federal and State 
agencies, MARAD and USCG commenced processing the amended license 
application and completed the Draft EIS. A NOA and Notice of Public 
Meetings for the Draft EIS was published in the Federal Register July 
15, 2016 (81 FR 46157). MARAD and the USCG hosted two Draft EIS public 
meetings in connection with the Delfin LNG deepwater port license 
application. The first public meeting was held in Cameron, Louisiana on 
August 9, 2016; the second public scoping meeting was held in Beaumont, 
Texas on August 10, 2016. Transcripts of the scoping meetings are 
included in the public docket under docket number USCG-2015-0472.
    The Final EIS, application materials and associated comments are 
currently available for public review at the Federal docket Web site: 
www.regulations.gov under docket number USCG-2015-0472.

Proposed Action and Alternatives

    USCG and MARAD are co-lead Federal agencies for the preparation of 
the Final EIS; MARAD is the Federal licensing agency (action agency). 
The proposed action requiring environmental review is the Federal 
licensing of the proposed deepwater port described in the ``Summary of 
the License Application'' below. The alternatives to licensing the 
proposed port are: (1) Licensing with conditions (including conditions 
designed to mitigate environmental impact) and (2) denying the 
application, which, for purposes of environmental review, is the ``no-
action'' alternative. These alternatives are more fully discussed in 
the Final EIS. You can address any questions about the proposed action 
or the Final EIS to USCG or MARAD project managers identified in FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Summary of the License Application

    Delfin LNG has applied for a MARAD-issued license to construct, 
own, operate and eventually decommission a deepwater port in the Gulf 
of Mexico to liquefy domestically-sourced natural gas for export. 
Exports are proposed to both Free Trade Agreement nations and non-Free 
Trade Agreement nations, in accordance with the Department of Energy 
export license approvals.
    The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port has both onshore and 
offshore components. The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port would be 
located in Federal waters within the OCS West Cameron (WC) Area, West 
Addition Protraction Area (Gulf of Mexico) approximately 37.4 to 40.8 
nautical miles off the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, in water 
depths ranging from approximately 64 to 72 feet (19.5 to 21.9 meters). 
The Delfin LNG deepwater port would consist of four semi-permanently 
moored Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Vessels (FLNGVs) located as 
follows: No. 1 (29[deg]8'13.1'' N/93[deg]32'2.2'' W), No. 2 
(29[deg]6'13.6'' N/93[deg]32'42.4'' W), No. 3

[[Page 85680]]

(29[deg]6'40.7'' N/93[deg]30'10.1'' W) and No. 4 (29[deg]4'40.9'' N/
93[deg]30'51.8'' W) located in WC lease blocks 319, 327, 328 and 334, 
respectively. The Delfin LNG deepwater port would reuse and repurpose 
two existing offshore natural gas pipelines; the former U-T Operating 
System (UTOS) pipeline and the High Island Offshore System (HIOS) 
pipeline. Four new 30-inch diameter pipeline laterals, each 
approximately 6,400 feet in length, connecting the HIOS pipeline to 
each of the FLNGVs, would be constructed. In addition, a 700-foot 42-
inch diameter new pipeline would be constructed to bypass a platform at 
WC lease block 167 (WC 167) and connect the UTOS and HIOS pipelines. 
Feed gas would be supplied through the new pipeline laterals to each of 
the FLNGVs where it would be super-cooled to produce LNG. The LNG would 
be stored onboard the FLNGVs and transferred via ship-to-ship transfer 
to properly certified LNG tankers. Each of the FLNGVs would be semi-
permanently moored to four new weathervaning tower yoke mooring systems 
(TYMS).
    The onshore components in Cameron Parish, Louisiana are described 
specifically in an application originally submitted to FERC (see FERC 
Application). The onshore components of the Delfin LNG deepwater port 
would consist of constructing and operating a new natural gas 
compressor station, gas supply header and a metering station at an 
existing gas facility. The proposal would require: (1) Reactivation of 
approximately 1.1 miles of existing 42-inch pipeline, formerly owned by 
UTOS, which runs from Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company Station No. 
44 (Transco Station 44) to the mean highwater mark along the Cameron 
Parish Coast; (2) installation of 120,000 horsepower of new 
compression; (3) construction of 0.25 miles of 42-inch pipeline to 
connect the former UTOS line to the new meter station; and (4) 
construction of 0.6 miles of twin 30-inch pipelines between Transco 
Station 44 and the new compressor station.
    Onshore pipeline quality natural gas from the interstate grid would 
be sent to the existing, but currently idle, 42-inch UTOS pipeline. The 
gas transported through the UTOS pipeline would then bypass the 
existing manifold platform located at WC 167 via a newly installed 
pipeline segment, 700 feet in length, connecting to the existing 42-
inch HIOS pipeline.
    The bypass of the WC 167 platform would be trenched so that the top 
of the pipe is a minimum of 3 feet below the seafloor. From the bypass, 
the feed gas would then be transported further offshore using the HIOS 
pipeline portion leased by Delfin LNG between WC 167 and High Island 
A264 OCS lease block. The existing UTOS and HIOS pipelines transect OCS 
Lease Blocks WC 314, 318, 319, 327 and 335, and would transport feed 
gas from onshore to offshore (one-directional flow). Delfin LNG 
proposes to install four new lateral pipelines along the HIOS pipeline, 
starting approximately 16.0 nautical miles south of the WC 167 
platform. Each subsea lateral pipeline would be 30 inches in diameter 
and approximately 6,400 feet in length, extending from the HIOS 
pipeline to the Delfin LNG deepwater port. The maximum allowable 
operating pressure of the pipeline system (UTOS, bypass, HIOS and 
laterals) would be 1,250 pounds per square inch gauge (psig).
    The FLNGVs would receive pipeline quality natural gas via the 
laterals and TYMS, and then, using onboard liquefaction equipment, cool 
it sufficiently to completely condense the gas and produce LNG. The 
produced LNG would be stored in International Maritime Organization 
(IMO) type B, prismatic, independent LNG storage tanks aboard each of 
the FLNGVs. Each vessel would have a total LNG storage capacity of 
210,000 cubic meters (m\3\).
    An offloading mooring system would be provided on each FLNGV to 
moor an LNG tanker side-by-side for cargo transfer of LNG through 
loading arms or cryogenic hoses using ship-to-ship transfer procedures. 
LNG tankers would be moored with pilot and tug assist. The FLNGVs would 
be equipped with fenders and quick-release hooks to facilitate mooring 
and unmooring operations. The offloading system would be capable of 
accommodating standard LNG tankers with nominal cargo capacities up to 
170,000 m\3\. Delfin LNG estimates that the typical LNG cargo transfer 
operation would be carried out within 24 hours, including LNG tanker 
berthing, cargo transfer and sail-away. Approximately 31 LNG tankers 
are expected to visit each of the four FLNGVs per year for a total of 
up to 124 cargo transfer operations per year. Each LNG tanker would be 
assisted by up to three tugs during approach and mooring and up to two 
tugs while departing the Delfin LNG deepwater port.
    The FLNGVs would be self-propelled vessels and have the ability to 
disconnect from the TYMS and set sail to avoid hurricanes or to 
facilitate required inspections, maintenance and repairs.
    In the nominal design case, based on an estimated availability of 
92 percent and allowance for consumption of feed gas during the 
liquefaction process, each of the four FLNGVs would produce 
approximately 146 billion standard cubic feet per year (Bscf/y) of gas 
(approximately 3.0 million metric tonnes per annum [MMtpa]) for export 
in the form of LNG. Together, the four FLNGVs are designed to have the 
capability to export 585 Bscf/y of gas (approximately 12.0 MMtpa).
    As detailed engineering and equipment specification advances during 
the design process and operating efficiencies are gained post-
commissioning, the liquefaction process could perform better than this 
nominal design case. It is anticipated that LNG output could improve to 
as much as 657.5 Bscf/y in the optimized design case (approximately 
13.2 MMtpa) which is the amount Delfin LNG is requesting authorization 
to export.
    The proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port would take a modular 
implementation approach to allow for early market entry and accommodate 
market shifts. Offshore construction activities are proposed to begin 
at the end of the first quarter of 2018 and would be completed in four 
stages, with each stage corresponding to the commissioning and 
operation of an FLNGV. The anticipated commissioning of FLNGV 1 is the 
third quarter of 2019 with start-up of commercial operation of FLNGV 1 
by the end of 2019. It is anticipated that FLNGVs 2 through 4 would be 
commissioned 12 months apart. Following this schedule and barring 
unforeseen events, the Delfin LNG deepwater port would be completed and 
all four FLNGVs would be fully operational by the summer of 2022.
    Should a license be issued, the Delfin LNG deepwater port would be 
designed, fabricated, constructed, commissioned, maintained, inspected 
and operated in accordance with applicable codes and standards and with 
USCG oversight as regulated under Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR), subchapter NN-Deepwater Ports (33 CFR 148, 149 and 150). This 
includes applicable waterways management and regulated navigations 
areas, maritime safety and security requirements, risk assessment and 
compliance with domestic and international laws and regulations for 
vessels that may call at the port.

FERC Application

    On May 8, 2015, Delfin LNG filed its original application with FERC 
requesting authorizations pursuant to the Natural Gas Act and 18 CFR 
part 157 for the onshore components of the proposed deepwater port 
terminal including authorization to use the

[[Page 85681]]

existing pipeline infrastructure, which includes leasing a segment of 
pipeline from HIOS extending from the terminus of the UTOS pipeline 
offshore. On May 20, 2015, FERC issued its Notice of Application for 
the onshore components of Delfin LNG's deepwater port project in Docket 
No. CP15-490-000. This Notice was published in the Federal Register on 
May 27, 2015 (80 FR 30226). Delfin LNG stated in its application that 
High Island Offshore System, LLC would submit a separate application 
with FERC seeking authorization to abandon by lease its facilities to 
Delfin LNG. FERC, however, advised Delfin LNG that it would not begin 
processing Delfin LNG's application until such time that MARAD and USCG 
deemed Delfin LNG's deepwater port license application complete and 
High Island Offshore System, LLC submitted an abandonment application 
with FERC. On June 29, 2015, MARAD and USCG accepted the documentation 
and deemed the original Delfin LNG license application complete.
    On November 19, 2015, High Island Offshore System, LLC filed an 
application (FERC Docket No. CP16-20-000) to abandon certain offshore 
facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, including its 66-mile-long mainline, 
an offshore platform and related facilities (``HIOS Repurposed 
Facilities''). Accordingly, on November 19, 2015, Delfin LNG filed an 
amended application in FERC Docket No. CP15-490-001 to use the HIOS 
Repurposed Facilities and to revise the onshore component of its 
deepwater port project. On December 1, 2015, FERC issued a Notice of 
Application for Delfin LNG's amendment, which was published in the 
Federal Register on December 7, 2015 (80 FR 76003).
    The amended FERC application specifically discusses the onshore 
facility and adjustments to the onshore operations that would involve 
reactivating approximately 1.1 miles of the existing UTOS pipeline; the 
addition of four new onshore compressors totaling 120,000 horsepower of 
new compression; activation of associated metering and regulation 
facilities; the installation of new supply header pipelines (which 
would consist of 0.25 miles of new 42-inch-diameter pipeline to connect 
the former UTOS line to the new meter station); and 0.6 miles of new 
twin 30-inch-diameter pipelines between Transco Station 44 and the new 
compressor station site.
    Additional information regarding the details of Delfin LNG's 
original and amended application to FERC is on file and open to public 
inspection. Project filings may be viewed at the www.ferc.gov Web site 
using the ``eLibrary'' link. Enter the docket number excluding the last 
three digits (i.e., CP15-490) in the docket number field to access 
project information. For assistance, please contact FERC at 
FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or call toll-free, (886) 208-3676 or TYY, 
(202) 502-8659.

Privacy Act

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT/MARAD solicits comments 
from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT/MARAD 
posts these comments, without edit, to www.regulations.gov, as 
described in the system of records notice, DOT/ALL-14 FDMS, accessible 
through www.dot.gov/privacy. In order to facilitate comment tracking 
and response, we encourage commenters to provide their name, or the 
name of their organization; however, submission of names is completely 
optional. Whether or not commenters identify themselves, all timely 
comments will be fully considered. If you wish to provide comments 
containing proprietary or confidential information, please contact the 
agency for alternate submission instructions.

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., 49 CFR 1.93(h).

    Dated: November 8, 2016.

    By Order of the Maritime Administrator.
T. Mitchell Hudson, Jr.,
Secretary, Maritime Administration.
[FR Doc. 2016-27297 Filed 11-25-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-81-P