Record of Decision and Floodplain Statement of Findings for the Delfin LNG LLC Application To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries, 26672-26676 [2017-11907]

Download as PDF 26672 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 109 / Thursday, June 8, 2017 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES the information will have practical utility; • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • Propose ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD–2013–OS–0161] Proposed Collection; Comment Request Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), DOD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper Comments performance of the functions of the A 60-day Notice requesting public agency, including whether the comment was published in the Federal information shall have practical utility; Register on March 24, 2017. 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Follow the Type of Review: Renewal. Agency: Corporation for National and instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Department of Defense, Office Community Service. of the Deputy Chief Management Title: National Service Trust Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Enrollment Form and National Service Compliance, Regulatory and Advisory Trust Exit Form. Committee Division, 4800 Mark Center OMB Number: 3045–0006. Drive, Mailbox #24, Suite 08D09B, Alexandria, VA 22350–1700. Agency Number: None. Instructions: All submissions received Affected Public: AmeriCorps must include the agency name, docket members, grantee and other program number and title for this Federal staff. Register document. The general policy Total Respondents: 160,000. for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make Frequency: One per form. Average Time per Response: Averages these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http:// 10 minutes per form. www.regulations.gov as they are Estimated Total Burden Hours: received without change, including any 266,667. personal identifiers or contact Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): information. Any associated form(s) for this None. collection may be located within this Total Burden Cost (operating/ same electronic docket and downloaded maintenance): None. for review/testing. Follow the Dated: June 1, 2017. instructions at http:// Erin Dahlin, www.regulations.gov for submitting Deputy Chief of Program Operations. comments. Please submit comments on [FR Doc. 2017–11891 Filed 6–7–17; 8:45 am] any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title. BILLING CODE 6050–28–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Jun 07, 2017 Jkt 241001 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Defense Finance and Accounting Services—Cleveland, 1240 East 9th Street, NP 7th Floor, Cleveland, OH 44199, ATTN: Ms. Laurie Eldridge, laurie.eldridge@dfas.mil, (216) 204– 3631. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Claim Certification and Voucher for Death Gratuity Payment; DD Form 397; OMB Control Number 0730–0017. Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement allows the government to collect the signatures and information needed to pay a death gratuity. Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1475– 1480, a designated beneficiary(ies) or next-of-kin can receive a death gratuity payment for a deceased service member. This form serves as a record of the disbursement. The DoD Financial Management Regulation (FMR), Volume 7A, Chapter 36, defines the eligible beneficiaries and procedures for payment. To provide internal controls for this benefit, and to comply with the above-cited statutes, the information requested is needed to substantiate the receipt of the benefit. Affected Public: Individuals or Households. Annual Burden Hours: 250 hours. Number of Respondents: 500. Responses per Respondent: 1. Average Burden per Response: 30 minutes. Frequency: On occasion. The service Casualty Office completes the upper portion of the DD Form 397 and provides the form to the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries complete their portion of the form and then sign and have it witnessed. Once the documents are completed, they are forwarded to DFAS for payment. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Dated: June 2, 2017. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 2017–11847 Filed 6–7–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Record of Decision and Floodplain Statement of Findings for the Delfin LNG LLC Application To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\08JNN1.SGM 08JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 109 / Thursday, June 8, 2017 / Notices ACTION: Record of decision. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announces its decision in Delfin LNG LLC (Delfin), FE Docket No. 13– 147–LNG, to issue DOE/FE Order No. 4028 (Order No. 4028), granting longterm, multi-contract authorization for Delfin to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG). Delfin seeks authorization to export the LNG in a volume equivalent to approximately 657.5 billion cubic feet per year (Bcf/yr) of natural gas (1.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d)) by vessel from its proposed floating liquefaction facility to be located in West Cameron Block 167 in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore of Cameron Parish, Louisiana (Liquefaction Facility).1 Delfin seeks to export this LNG for a 20-year term to any country with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas, and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (nonFTA countries). Order No. 4028 is issued under section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and DOE’s regulations. Because the floating Liquefaction Facility will be a ‘‘deepwater port’’ within the meaning of the Deepwater Port Act of 1974, as amended,2 the Liquefaction Facility requires a deepwater port license from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD). DOE participated as a cooperating agency with MARAD, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), in preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing the potential environmental impacts that would result from the proposed Liquefaction Facility and related onshore facilities (Delfin Onshore Facility) 3 (collectively, the Delfin Liquefaction Project). ADDRESSES: The EIS and this Record of Decision (ROD) are available on DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Web site at: https:// www.energy.gov/nepa/eis-0531-portdelfin-lng-project-deepwater-portapplication-louisiana. Order No. 4028 is available on DOE/FE’s Web site at: asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: 1 Delfin states that the Liquefaction Facility (or ‘‘deepwater port’’) will be located offshore in West Cameron Block 167. Delfin’s floating liquefied natural gas vessels (discussed herein) will be moored in additional offshore blocks, including West Cameron Blocks 319, 327, 328, 334, and 335. 2 See 33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.; 33 CFR part 148. 3 Although the Delfin EIS covers the entire Delfin Liquefaction Project, the Delfin Onshore Facility falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and is subject to separate regulatory approval by FERC pursuant to sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the NGA in FERC Docket No. CP15–490. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Jun 07, 2017 Jkt 241001 https://fossil.energy.gov/ng_regulation/ applications-2013-delfinlngllc13-147lng. For additional information about the docket in these proceedings, contact Larine Moore, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Oil and Natural Gas, Office of Fossil Energy, Room 3E–042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To obtain additional information about the EIS or the ROD, contact Kyle W. Moorman, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Oil and Natural Gas, Office of Fossil Energy, Room 3E– 042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586–5600, or Edward Le Duc, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Environment, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, 202–586–4007. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DOE prepared this ROD and Floodplain Statement of Findings pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 United States Code [U.S.C.] 4321, et seq.), and in compliance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) implementing regulations for NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] parts 1500 through 1508), DOE’s implementing procedures for NEPA (10 CFR part 1021), and DOE’s ‘‘Compliance with Floodplain and Wetland Environmental Review Requirements’’ (10 CFR part 1022). Background Delfin, a Louisiana limited liability company with its principal place of business in Dallas, Texas, proposes to construct, own, and operate a deepwater port with floating liquefaction and export facilities, and related onshore facilities, in West Cameron Block 167 in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 30 miles offshore of Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The proposed Liquefaction Project will connect to the U.S. natural gas pipeline and transmission system through the reuse and repurpose of two existing offshore pipelines and proposed offshore pipeline laterals connecting to the Delfin Onshore Facility. On November 12, 2013, Delfin filed an application (Application) with DOE/ FE seeking authorization to export domestically produced LNG in a volume equivalent to 657.5 Bcf/yr of natural gas to non-FTA countries. In Order No. 4028, DOE/FE is authorizing Delfin to export LNG from the proposed Delfin Liquefaction Facility in the full volume requested. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26673 In 2014, DOE/FE granted Delfin’s separate authorization to export LNG from the proposed Liquefaction Facility to FTA countries in a volume equivalent to 657.5 Bcf/yr of natural gas (1.8 Bcf/ d) for a 20-year term.4 The authorized FTA export volume is not additive to the export volume authorized in this proceeding. Additionally, on May 8, 2015, Delfin filed its application with MARAD under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 to site, construct, and operate the Delfin Liquefaction Project. On March 13, 2017, MARAD found that the Delfin Liquefaction Project will be ‘‘in the national interest’’ under section 4(c)(3) of the Deepwater Port Act 5 and issued a record of decision (MARAD ROD) authorizing the issuance of a deepwater port license.6 Delfin’s deepwater port license is subject to various conditions discussed in the MARAD ROD, which will be set forth in the deepwater port license upon its issuance.7 On May 8, 2015, Delfin submitted its application for the Delfin Onshore Facility to FERC. To date, Delfin is still awaiting its NGA section 7 authorizations from FERC. The Delfin Liquefaction Project will be subject to any conditions outlined within FERC’s order. Project Description Delfin’s proposed Liquefaction Facility will be located off the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, in Federal waters within the Outer Continental Shelf West Cameron Area. Water depths of the actual site ranges from 64 to 72 feet. The Liquefaction Facility primarily will consist of four semi-permanent floating liquefied natural gas vessels (FLNGVs) with a total liquefaction capability of 13.3 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG, or approximately 657.5 Bcf/yr of natural gas. Each FLNGV will have LNG storage capacity of 211,460 cubic meters; four disconnectable tower yoke mooring 4 Delfin LNG LLC, DOE/FE Order No. 3393, FE Docket No 13–129–LNG, Order Granting LongTerm, Multi-Contract Authorization to Export Liquefied Natural Gas by Vessel from a Proposed Floating Liquefaction Project and Deepwater Port 30 Miles Offshore of Louisiana to Free Trade Agreement Nations (Feb. 20, 2014). 5 33 U.S.C. 1503(c)(3) (allowing the Secretary of MARAD to issue a license for a deepwater port if, in relevant part, ‘‘he determines that the construction and operation of the deepwater port will be in the national interest and consistent with national security and other national policy goals and objectives, including energy sufficiency and environmental quality’’). 6 U.S. Dep’t of Transportation Maritime Administration, Secretary’s Record of Decision on the Deepwater Port License Application of Delfin LNG, LLC, at 65 (Para. 3), 68 (Mar. 13, 2017). 7 See, e.g., MARAD ROD at 16. E:\FR\FM\08JNN1.SGM 08JNN1 26674 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 109 / Thursday, June 8, 2017 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES systems (TYMS); four pipeline riser components, four service vessel mooring points; and four 30-inch diameter pipeline laterals, each approximately 6,400 inches in length. The Liquefaction Facility will reuse and repurpose two existing offshore pipeline systems (formerly the U–T Offshore Systems, LLC (UTOS) and High Island Offshore Systems, LLC (HIOS) pipeline systems); and include one 700-foot, 42inch diameter pipeline bypass around an existing offshore platform manifold infrastructure at West Cameron Block 167 to connect to the former UTOS and HIOS pipeline systems. The Delfin Onshore Facility will require new pipeline and associated pipeline facilities in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, to supply natural gas to the liquefaction facility from existing onshore natural gas transmission pipelines. Components of the Delfin Onshore Facility will primarily consist of the reactivation of 1.1 miles if existing 42-inch pipeline (former UTOS pipeline) which runs to an existing compressor station; installation of a new compressor; construction of 0.25 miles of 42-inch pipeline to connect the former UTOS line to a new meter station; and construction of 0.6 miles of twin 30-inch pipelines between an existing compressor station and the new compressor station. EIS Process MARAD and the USCG were the colead federal agencies for the environmental review of the Delfin Liquefaction Project and initiated the NEPA process by publishing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS for the Delfin Liquefaction Project on July 29, 2015. MARAD and USCG conducted a single environmental review process that assessed both the onshore and offshore components of the Delfin Liquefaction Project.8 DOE participated as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EIS. MARAD and USCG issued the draft EIS and published in the Federal Register a notice of availability (NOA) for the draft EIS on July 15, 2016 (81 FR 46157). MARAD and USCG issued the final EIS 9 and published a NOA for the final EIS on November 28, 2016 (81 FR 85678). The final EIS addresses comments received on the draft EIS. The final EIS also addresses water resources; biological resources; essential fish habitat; geological resources; cultural resources; ocean use, land use, 8 See MARAD ROD at 23–24, 45. Environmental Impact Statement for the Port Delfin LNG Project Deepwater Port Application, Docket No. USCG–2015–0472 (Nov. 2016) (EIS). 9 Final VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Jun 07, 2017 Jkt 241001 recreation, and visual resources; transportation; air quality; noise; socioeconomics; safety; cumulative impacts; and alternatives. Based on the final EIS, MARAD and USCG concluded that the issuance of deepwater port license will subject the Delfin Liquefaction Project to the implementation of Best Management Practices and mitigation measures recommended by federal and state agencies to reduce the environmental impacts that would otherwise result from the Project’s construction and operation.10 Subsequently, the MARAD ROD determined that Delfin’s requested deepwater port license met the nine criteria required for approval under section 4(c) of the Deepwater Port Act, 33 U.S.C. 1503(c), subject to certain conditions. MARAD describes many of these conditions in the ROD, but indicated that the precise conditions will be set forth in the License upon its issuance at a later date.11 In accordance with 40 CFR 1506.3, after an independent review of MARAD and USCG’s final EIS, DOE/FE adopted MARAD and USCG’s final EIS (DOE/ EIS–0531) on April 18, 2017. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a notice of the adoption on April 28, 2017 (82 FR 19715). Addendum to Environmental Review Documents Concerning Exports of Natural Gas From the United States (Addendum) On June 4, 2014, DOE/FE published the Draft Addendum to Environmental Review Documents Concerning Exports of Natural Gas from the United States (Draft Addendum) for public comment (79 FR 32,258). The purpose of this review was to provide additional information to the public concerning the potential environmental impacts of unconventional natural gas exploration and production activities, including hydraulic fracturing. Although not required by NEPA, DOE/FE prepared the Draft Addendum in an effort to be responsive to the public and to provide the best information available on a subject that had been raised by commenters in this and other LNG export proceedings. The 45-day comment period on the Draft Addendum closed on July 21, 2014. DOE/FE received 40,745 comments in 18 separate submissions, and considered those comments in issuing the final Addendum on August 15, 2014. DOE provided a summary of the comments received and responses to 10 See 11 See PO 00000 id. at 4–14 to 4–23. MARAD ROD at 16. Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 substantive comments in Appendix B of the Addendum.12 Alternatives The EIS analyzed alternatives that could achieve the Delfin Liquefaction Project’s objectives. The range of alternatives analyzed included alternative deepwater port designs, alternative LNG liquefaction technologies, alternative cooling media, alternative pipeline routes, alternative port locations, alternative use of existing West Cameron 167 offshore manifold platform, alternative mooring systems, alternative anchoring methods, alternative Delfin Onshore Facility locations, a no action alternative, and energy alternatives. Alternatives were evaluated and compared to the Delfin Liquefaction Project to determine if the alternatives were reasonable and environmentally preferable. In analyzing alternative deepwater port designs, the EIS reviewed and evaluated four different designs: (1) Gravity-based structure; (2) Fixed platform-based unit; (3) Floating HiLoad port; and (4) FLNGV. The EIS then evaluated those four different designs based on four environmental and technical considerations: (1) Air emissions; (2) general environmental effects; (3) visual impacts; and (4) water depth and seafloor topography. Both the Gravity-based structure and Floating HiLoad port were eliminated due to the large seafloor impacts and lack of design purpose for producing LNG for export. The fixed platform-based unit would also likely result in additional seafloor impacts due to foundational requirements. In analyzing alternative LNG liquefaction technologies for use on the FLNGV, the EIS reviewed three different technologies: (1) Expander-based process; (2) dual mixed refrigerant process; and (3) single mixed refrigerant (SMR) process. When evaluating the three technologies, the EIS relied on efficiency and simplicity of each technology when used aboard a FLNGV. The SMR technology offered a balance of medium to high efficiency along with simplicity of operation when aboard a FLNGV in comparison to the other two alternatives. For analyzing alternative cooling media, the EIS evaluated two types for use aboard the FLNGV: (1) Open-loop, water-cooled heat exchangers or (2) aircooled heat exchangers. Although the open-loop, water-cooled heat exchanger 12 We take administrative notice of the Addendum in this proceeding. See also EIS at ES– 14, 1–10, 4–169, 6–2, and 6.3 for MARAD’s and USCG’s discussion of the Addendum. E:\FR\FM\08JNN1.SGM 08JNN1 asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 109 / Thursday, June 8, 2017 / Notices is more efficient, smaller in size, and less expensive, its high use of seawater and discharge method could have additional impacts on marine life in comparison to the air-cooled heater exchanger. As a result, the EIS concluded the use of the air-cooled heat exchanger was the preferred alternative. In analyzing alternative pipeline routes, the EIS utilized several different criteria to identify existing pipeline systems. Those criteria include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) A location within 150 miles of Henry Hub (2) pipelines with a 36-inch or larger diameter; (3) a water-depth location suitable for construction and operation of a deepwater port; (4) proximity of 2 to 8 miles of a designated shipping safety fairway; and (5) pipeline capacity for the requested volume. From this criteria, the EIS then identified the following six existing pipeline systems: (1) HIOS/UTOS; (2) Natural Gas Pipeline Company, LLC/Stingray Pipeline Company, LLC; (3) Columbia Gulf Transmission Company; (4) Kinetica Partners, LLC (western section); (5) Sea Robin Pipeline Company, LLC; and (6) Kinetica Partners, LLC (central section). Of the six pipeline systems, only two met the siting requirements for the proposed Project: HIOS/UTOS and Natural Gas Pipeline Company, LLC/Stingray Pipeline Company, LLC. Upon evaluating the two remaining pipeline systems, the EIS concluded that due to a larger available volume capacity, ultimately the HIOS and UTOS systems were the preferred systems. For analyzing alternative port locations, the EIS initially relied upon the USCG guidelines on siting for LNG deepwater port terminals in 33 CFR 148.720. Based on those guidelines, the EIS then selected three locations: (1) Along the HIOS/UTOS pipeline systems within West Cameron Block area; (2) along the HIOS/UTOS pipeline systems within deeper water of the West Cameron Block area, approximately 10 nautical miles south-southwest of alternative 1; and (3) along the Natural Gas Pipeline Company, LLC/Stingray Pipeline Company, systems, approximately 27 nautical miles from alternative 2.13 From these three locations, the EIS then compared the following factors: (1) Avoidance of cultural resources; (2) engineering; (3) avoidance of geological hazards; (4) air emissions and noise; (5) water and sediment quality; (6) commercial and recreational fishing; (7) wildlife and protected species; (8) socioeconomics; 13 See EIS pages 2–38 through 2–41 for further details and maps of exact site locations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Jun 07, 2017 Jkt 241001 and (9) marine uses and aesthetics. The EIS concluded that due to the distance from shore, alternatives 2 and 3 would require additional service trips as well as additional compression requirements. Furthermore, these alternatives would require longer piles for structure purposes that would result in greater noise impacts on marine species. Overall, these factors would result in greater noise and air emissions compared to the proposed site (alternative 1) and thus were not selected. In analyzing alternative use of existing West Cameron 167 offshore manifold platform, the EIS did not provide any alternatives to the proposed bypass pipeline. Although Delfin proposes to construct 700 feet of bypass pipeline on the seafloor, the reuse of the existing offshore platform would result in greater potential impacts on the area. Reuse of the existing offshore manifold platform would require removal of the infrastructure and interactions with six other pipeline systems utilizing the platform. The EIS made no further analysis of this Project area. For analyzing alternative mooring systems, the EIS evaluated two different mooring systems: (1) Permanent mooring system and (2) disconnectable mooring system. The main design criteria for the mooring system is to provide a stable environment for the FLNGV operations. For the permanent mooring system, the FLNGV would stay moored to the location regardless of weather and ocean conditions, thus eliminating the flexibility and project design for the self-propelled FLNGV. Conversely, the disconnectable mooring system allows the needed flexibility for the FLNGV to depart for maintenance purposes as well as allow for a much smaller anchoring system. As a result, the EIS selected the proposed disconnectable mooring system. In analyzing alternative anchoring methods for installing the TYMS mooring structure, the EIS considered five different anchor designs. The design alternatives included: (1) Suction anchors; (2) driven piles; (3) fluke anchors; (4) gravity-based anchors; and (5) grouted pile anchors. For evaluating the anchor design alternatives, the EIS considered the following six issues: (1) Air emissions; (2) water use and discharge; (3) turbidity, sedimentation, and seafloor impacts; (4) fisheries impacts; (5) noise impacts; and (6) decommissioning impacts. Based on these six issues, the EIS concluded that the driven piles had a smaller footprint, fewer installation impacts, and structural design advantages pursuant to PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26675 the geotechnical evaluation of the affected area. For evaluating alternative Delfin Onshore Facility locations, the EIS analyzed and determined the feasibility of the locations based on proximity to a gas supply pipeline for the Port, to various gas supply header pipelines, and to existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure. From these factors, the EIS evaluated the following four locations: (1) PSI Cameron Meadows Gas Plant; (2) Transco Station 44; (3) a greenfield location adjacent to the PSI Cameron Meadows Gas Plant; and (4) a greenfield location adjacent to Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company facilities on the north side of Highway 82 approximately 1.3 miles east of the three other alternative locations.14 The EIS then evaluated the four locations based on the following criteria: (1) Proximity to the feasible pipeline systems; (2) availability of land for siting a compressor station; (3) current land use; (4) proximity to sensitive resources (i.e. streams, wetlands, and wildlife; (5) proximity to noise sensitive areas; and (6) feasibility of air permitting. Due to the potential impacts to the greenfield sites, alternatives 3 and 4 were eliminated as those impacts would be greater than the impacts resulting from the use of existing infrastructure. Finally, the EIS concluded that due to existing pipeline infrastructure, alternative 1 would be the preferred location for the compressor station while alternative 2 would be the preferred locations for the meter station and interconnection with gas supply header pipelines. In analyzing the no action alternative, the EIS reviewed the effects of not constructing the Delfin Liquefaction Project. Environmentally Preferred Alternative When compared against the other action alternatives assessed in the EIS, as discussed above, the proposed Delfin Liquefaction Project is the environmentally preferable alternative. Although the no action alternative would avoid the environmental impacts identified in the EIS, adoption of this alternative would not meet the Delfin Liquefaction Project objectives. Decision DOE has decided to issue Order No. 4028 authorizing Delfin to export domestically produced LNG by vessel from the proposed Delfin Liquefaction Facility located off the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, to non-FTA countries, 14 See Figures 2.3–4 and 2.3–6 within the EIS for more details. E:\FR\FM\08JNN1.SGM 08JNN1 26676 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 109 / Thursday, June 8, 2017 / Notices in a volume equivalent to approximately 657.5 Bcf/yr of natural gas for a term of 20 years to commence on the earlier of the date of first commercial export or seven years from the date that the Order is issued. Concurrently with this Record of Decision, DOE/FE is issuing Order No. 4028, in which it finds that the requested authorization has not been shown to be inconsistent with the public interest, and that the Application should be granted subject to compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in the Order, including all terms and conditions described by MARAD in its ROD and/or imposed in MARAD’s forthcoming deepwater port license for Delfin. Additionally, DOE/FE’s authorization is conditioned on Delfin’s receipt of all connected local, state, and federal permits (including FERC’s authorization under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act for the Delfin Onshore Facility), and on Delfin’s on-going compliance with any other preventative and mitigative measures imposed by other federal or state agencies. Floodplain Statement of Findings DOE prepared this Floodplain Statement of Findings in accordance with DOE’s regulations, entitled ‘‘Compliance with Floodplain and Wetland Environmental Review Requirements’’ (10 CFR part 1022). The required floodplain assessment was conducted during development and preparation of the EIS (see Sections 4.11.1 of the EIS). The EIS determined that the proposed Delfin Onshore Facility site is classified as having a 1percent-annual-chance of flooding. While the placement of these facilities within floodplains would be unavoidable, DOE has determined that the current design for the Delfin Liquefaction Project minimizes potential harm to or in the floodplain to the extent practicable. Issued in Washington, DC, on June 1, 2017. Jarad Daniels, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Fossil Energy. [FR Doc. 2017–11907 Filed 6–7–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P Basis of Decision DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DOE’s decision is based upon the analysis of potential environmental impacts presented in the EIS, and DOE’s determination in Order No. 4028 that it has not been shown that Delfin’s proposed exports will be inconsistent with the public interest, as is required to deny Delfin’s Application under NGA section 3(a). Although not required by NEPA, DOE/FE also considered the Addendum, which summarizes available information on potential upstream impacts associated with unconventional natural gas activities, such as hydraulic fracturing. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES Mitigation As a condition of its decision to issue Order No. 4028, DOE is imposing requirements that will avoid or minimize the environmental impacts of the proposed Liquefaction Facility. These conditions include the Best Management Practices, mitigation measures, and conditions in the MARAD ROD and forthcoming deepwater port license. Mitigation measures beyond those included in Order No. 4028 that are enforceable by other Federal and state agencies are additional conditions of Order No. 4028. With these conditions, DOE/FE has determined that all practicable means to avoid or minimize environmental harm from the Delfin Liquefaction Project have been adopted. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Jun 07, 2017 Jkt 241001 Dated: June 2, 2017. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–11922 Filed 6–7–17; 8:45 am] [Docket No. RM15–11–001] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P Reliability Standard for Transmission System Planned Performance for Geomagnetic Disturbance Events; Notice of Filing Take notice that on May 30, 2017, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation submitted a preliminary work plan to conduct research on topics related to geomagnetic disturbances and their impacts on the reliability of the Bulk-Power System, pursuant to Order No. 830.1 Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion 1 Order No. 830, Reliability Standard for Transmission System Planned Performance for Geomagnetic Disturbance Events, 156 FERC ¶ 61,215 (2016), reh’g denied, Order No. 830–A, 158 FERC ¶ 61,041 (2017) (‘‘Order No. 830’’). PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant and all the parties in this proceeding. The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the ‘‘eFiling’’ link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link and is available for electronic review in the Commission’s Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an ‘‘eSubscription’’ link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, or call (866) 208–3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502–8659. Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on June 23, 2017. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2615–044] Madison Paper Industries, Brookfield White Pine Hydro LLC, Merimil Limited Partnership, Brassua Hydroelectric Limited Partnership, Eagle Creek Kennebec Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application for Partial Transfer of License, Substitution of Relicense Applicant, and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests On May 8, 2017, Madison Paper Industries (MPI), Brookfield White Pine Hydro LLC (Brookfield), Merimil Limited Partnership (Merimil), Brassua Hydroelectric Limited Partnership (Brassua Partnership) (transferors/colicensees) and Eagle Creek Kennebec Hydro, LLC (transferee/Eagle Creek) filed a joint application for: (1) Partial transfer of license for the Brassua Storage Project, FERC No. 2615, located on the Moose River in Somerset County, Maine and (2) substitution of Eagle Creek for MPI as the applicant in the pending application for a new license E:\FR\FM\08JNN1.SGM 08JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 109 (Thursday, June 8, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26672-26676]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-11907]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


Record of Decision and Floodplain Statement of Findings for the 
Delfin LNG LLC Application To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free 
Trade Agreement Countries

AGENCY: Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy.

[[Page 26673]]


ACTION: Record of decision.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Fossil Energy 
(FE) announces its decision in Delfin LNG LLC (Delfin), FE Docket No. 
13-147-LNG, to issue DOE/FE Order No. 4028 (Order No. 4028), granting 
long-term, multi-contract authorization for Delfin to export 
domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG). Delfin seeks 
authorization to export the LNG in a volume equivalent to approximately 
657.5 billion cubic feet per year (Bcf/yr) of natural gas (1.8 billion 
cubic feet per day (Bcf/d)) by vessel from its proposed floating 
liquefaction facility to be located in West Cameron Block 167 in the 
Gulf of Mexico, offshore of Cameron Parish, Louisiana (Liquefaction 
Facility).\1\ Delfin seeks to export this LNG for a 20-year term to any 
country with which the United States does not have a free trade 
agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas, 
and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (non-FTA 
countries). Order No. 4028 is issued under section 3(a) of the Natural 
Gas Act (NGA) and DOE's regulations. Because the floating Liquefaction 
Facility will be a ``deepwater port'' within the meaning of the 
Deepwater Port Act of 1974, as amended,\2\ the Liquefaction Facility 
requires a deepwater port license from the U.S. Department of 
Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD). DOE participated as a 
cooperating agency with MARAD, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard 
(USCG), in preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing 
the potential environmental impacts that would result from the proposed 
Liquefaction Facility and related onshore facilities (Delfin Onshore 
Facility) \3\ (collectively, the Delfin Liquefaction Project).
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    \1\ Delfin states that the Liquefaction Facility (or ``deepwater 
port'') will be located offshore in West Cameron Block 167. Delfin's 
floating liquefied natural gas vessels (discussed herein) will be 
moored in additional offshore blocks, including West Cameron Blocks 
319, 327, 328, 334, and 335.
    \2\ See 33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.; 33 CFR part 148.
    \3\ Although the Delfin EIS covers the entire Delfin 
Liquefaction Project, the Delfin Onshore Facility falls under the 
jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and 
is subject to separate regulatory approval by FERC pursuant to 
sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the NGA in FERC Docket No. CP15-490.

ADDRESSES: The EIS and this Record of Decision (ROD) are available on 
DOE's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Web site at: https://www.energy.gov/nepa/eis-0531-port-delfin-lng-project-deepwater-port-application-louisiana. Order No. 4028 is available on DOE/FE's Web site 
at: https://fossil.energy.gov/ng_regulation/applications-2013-delfinlngllc13-147-lng. For additional information about the docket in 
these proceedings, contact Larine Moore, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Oil and 
Natural Gas, Office of Fossil Energy, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence 
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Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To obtain additional information about 
the EIS or the ROD, contact Kyle W. Moorman, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Office of Regulation and International Engagement, Office of Oil and 
Natural Gas, Office of Fossil Energy, Room 3E-042, 1000 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-5600, or Edward Le Duc, 
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for 
Environment, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, 202-
586-4007.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DOE prepared this ROD and Floodplain 
Statement of Findings pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969 (42 United States Code [U.S.C.] 4321, et seq.), and in 
compliance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) implementing 
regulations for NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] parts 1500 
through 1508), DOE's implementing procedures for NEPA (10 CFR part 
1021), and DOE's ``Compliance with Floodplain and Wetland Environmental 
Review Requirements'' (10 CFR part 1022).

Background

    Delfin, a Louisiana limited liability company with its principal 
place of business in Dallas, Texas, proposes to construct, own, and 
operate a deepwater port with floating liquefaction and export 
facilities, and related onshore facilities, in West Cameron Block 167 
in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 30 miles offshore of Cameron 
Parish, Louisiana. The proposed Liquefaction Project will connect to 
the U.S. natural gas pipeline and transmission system through the reuse 
and repurpose of two existing offshore pipelines and proposed offshore 
pipeline laterals connecting to the Delfin Onshore Facility.
    On November 12, 2013, Delfin filed an application (Application) 
with DOE/FE seeking authorization to export domestically produced LNG 
in a volume equivalent to 657.5 Bcf/yr of natural gas to non-FTA 
countries. In Order No. 4028, DOE/FE is authorizing Delfin to export 
LNG from the proposed Delfin Liquefaction Facility in the full volume 
requested.
    In 2014, DOE/FE granted Delfin's separate authorization to export 
LNG from the proposed Liquefaction Facility to FTA countries in a 
volume equivalent to 657.5 Bcf/yr of natural gas (1.8 Bcf/d) for a 20-
year term.\4\ The authorized FTA export volume is not additive to the 
export volume authorized in this proceeding.
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    \4\ Delfin LNG LLC, DOE/FE Order No. 3393, FE Docket No 13-129-
LNG, Order Granting Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization to 
Export Liquefied Natural Gas by Vessel from a Proposed Floating 
Liquefaction Project and Deepwater Port 30 Miles Offshore of 
Louisiana to Free Trade Agreement Nations (Feb. 20, 2014).
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    Additionally, on May 8, 2015, Delfin filed its application with 
MARAD under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 to site, construct, and 
operate the Delfin Liquefaction Project. On March 13, 2017, MARAD found 
that the Delfin Liquefaction Project will be ``in the national 
interest'' under section 4(c)(3) of the Deepwater Port Act \5\ and 
issued a record of decision (MARAD ROD) authorizing the issuance of a 
deepwater port license.\6\ Delfin's deepwater port license is subject 
to various conditions discussed in the MARAD ROD, which will be set 
forth in the deepwater port license upon its issuance.\7\
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    \5\ 33 U.S.C. 1503(c)(3) (allowing the Secretary of MARAD to 
issue a license for a deepwater port if, in relevant part, ``he 
determines that the construction and operation of the deepwater port 
will be in the national interest and consistent with national 
security and other national policy goals and objectives, including 
energy sufficiency and environmental quality'').
    \6\ U.S. Dep't of Transportation Maritime Administration, 
Secretary's Record of Decision on the Deepwater Port License 
Application of Delfin LNG, LLC, at 65 (Para. 3), 68 (Mar. 13, 2017).
    \7\ See, e.g., MARAD ROD at 16.
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    On May 8, 2015, Delfin submitted its application for the Delfin 
Onshore Facility to FERC. To date, Delfin is still awaiting its NGA 
section 7 authorizations from FERC. The Delfin Liquefaction Project 
will be subject to any conditions outlined within FERC's order.

Project Description

    Delfin's proposed Liquefaction Facility will be located off the 
coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, in Federal waters within the Outer 
Continental Shelf West Cameron Area. Water depths of the actual site 
ranges from 64 to 72 feet. The Liquefaction Facility primarily will 
consist of four semi-permanent floating liquefied natural gas vessels 
(FLNGVs) with a total liquefaction capability of 13.3 million metric 
tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG, or approximately 657.5 Bcf/yr of natural 
gas. Each FLNGV will have LNG storage capacity of 211,460 cubic meters; 
four disconnectable tower yoke mooring

[[Page 26674]]

systems (TYMS); four pipeline riser components, four service vessel 
mooring points; and four 30-inch diameter pipeline laterals, each 
approximately 6,400 inches in length. The Liquefaction Facility will 
reuse and repurpose two existing offshore pipeline systems (formerly 
the U-T Offshore Systems, LLC (UTOS) and High Island Offshore Systems, 
LLC (HIOS) pipeline systems); and include one 700-foot, 42-inch 
diameter pipeline bypass around an existing offshore platform manifold 
infrastructure at West Cameron Block 167 to connect to the former UTOS 
and HIOS pipeline systems.
    The Delfin Onshore Facility will require new pipeline and 
associated pipeline facilities in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, to 
supply natural gas to the liquefaction facility from existing onshore 
natural gas transmission pipelines. Components of the Delfin Onshore 
Facility will primarily consist of the reactivation of 1.1 miles if 
existing 42-inch pipeline (former UTOS pipeline) which runs to an 
existing compressor station; installation of a new compressor; 
construction of 0.25 miles of 42-inch pipeline to connect the former 
UTOS line to a new meter station; and construction of 0.6 miles of twin 
30-inch pipelines between an existing compressor station and the new 
compressor station.

EIS Process

    MARAD and the USCG were the co-lead federal agencies for the 
environmental review of the Delfin Liquefaction Project and initiated 
the NEPA process by publishing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an 
EIS for the Delfin Liquefaction Project on July 29, 2015. MARAD and 
USCG conducted a single environmental review process that assessed both 
the onshore and offshore components of the Delfin Liquefaction 
Project.\8\
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    \8\ See MARAD ROD at 23-24, 45.
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    DOE participated as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the 
EIS. MARAD and USCG issued the draft EIS and published in the Federal 
Register a notice of availability (NOA) for the draft EIS on July 15, 
2016 (81 FR 46157). MARAD and USCG issued the final EIS \9\ and 
published a NOA for the final EIS on November 28, 2016 (81 FR 85678). 
The final EIS addresses comments received on the draft EIS. The final 
EIS also addresses water resources; biological resources; essential 
fish habitat; geological resources; cultural resources; ocean use, land 
use, recreation, and visual resources; transportation; air quality; 
noise; socioeconomics; safety; cumulative impacts; and alternatives.
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    \9\ Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Port Delfin LNG 
Project Deepwater Port Application, Docket No. USCG-2015-0472 (Nov. 
2016) (EIS).
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    Based on the final EIS, MARAD and USCG concluded that the issuance 
of deepwater port license will subject the Delfin Liquefaction Project 
to the implementation of Best Management Practices and mitigation 
measures recommended by federal and state agencies to reduce the 
environmental impacts that would otherwise result from the Project's 
construction and operation.\10\ Subsequently, the MARAD ROD determined 
that Delfin's requested deepwater port license met the nine criteria 
required for approval under section 4(c) of the Deepwater Port Act, 33 
U.S.C. 1503(c), subject to certain conditions. MARAD describes many of 
these conditions in the ROD, but indicated that the precise conditions 
will be set forth in the License upon its issuance at a later date.\11\
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    \10\ See id. at 4-14 to 4-23.
    \11\ See MARAD ROD at 16.
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    In accordance with 40 CFR 1506.3, after an independent review of 
MARAD and USCG's final EIS, DOE/FE adopted MARAD and USCG's final EIS 
(DOE/EIS-0531) on April 18, 2017. The U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency published a notice of the adoption on April 28, 2017 (82 FR 
19715).

Addendum to Environmental Review Documents Concerning Exports of 
Natural Gas From the United States (Addendum)

    On June 4, 2014, DOE/FE published the Draft Addendum to 
Environmental Review Documents Concerning Exports of Natural Gas from 
the United States (Draft Addendum) for public comment (79 FR 32,258). 
The purpose of this review was to provide additional information to the 
public concerning the potential environmental impacts of unconventional 
natural gas exploration and production activities, including hydraulic 
fracturing. Although not required by NEPA, DOE/FE prepared the Draft 
Addendum in an effort to be responsive to the public and to provide the 
best information available on a subject that had been raised by 
commenters in this and other LNG export proceedings.
    The 45-day comment period on the Draft Addendum closed on July 21, 
2014. DOE/FE received 40,745 comments in 18 separate submissions, and 
considered those comments in issuing the final Addendum on August 15, 
2014. DOE provided a summary of the comments received and responses to 
substantive comments in Appendix B of the Addendum.\12\
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    \12\ We take administrative notice of the Addendum in this 
proceeding. See also EIS at ES-14, 1-10, 4-169, 6-2, and 6.3 for 
MARAD's and USCG's discussion of the Addendum.
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Alternatives

    The EIS analyzed alternatives that could achieve the Delfin 
Liquefaction Project's objectives. The range of alternatives analyzed 
included alternative deepwater port designs, alternative LNG 
liquefaction technologies, alternative cooling media, alternative 
pipeline routes, alternative port locations, alternative use of 
existing West Cameron 167 offshore manifold platform, alternative 
mooring systems, alternative anchoring methods, alternative Delfin 
Onshore Facility locations, a no action alternative, and energy 
alternatives. Alternatives were evaluated and compared to the Delfin 
Liquefaction Project to determine if the alternatives were reasonable 
and environmentally preferable.
    In analyzing alternative deepwater port designs, the EIS reviewed 
and evaluated four different designs: (1) Gravity-based structure; (2) 
Fixed platform-based unit; (3) Floating HiLoad port; and (4) FLNGV. The 
EIS then evaluated those four different designs based on four 
environmental and technical considerations: (1) Air emissions; (2) 
general environmental effects; (3) visual impacts; and (4) water depth 
and seafloor topography. Both the Gravity-based structure and Floating 
HiLoad port were eliminated due to the large seafloor impacts and lack 
of design purpose for producing LNG for export. The fixed platform-
based unit would also likely result in additional seafloor impacts due 
to foundational requirements.
    In analyzing alternative LNG liquefaction technologies for use on 
the FLNGV, the EIS reviewed three different technologies: (1) Expander-
based process; (2) dual mixed refrigerant process; and (3) single mixed 
refrigerant (SMR) process. When evaluating the three technologies, the 
EIS relied on efficiency and simplicity of each technology when used 
aboard a FLNGV. The SMR technology offered a balance of medium to high 
efficiency along with simplicity of operation when aboard a FLNGV in 
comparison to the other two alternatives.
    For analyzing alternative cooling media, the EIS evaluated two 
types for use aboard the FLNGV: (1) Open-loop, water-cooled heat 
exchangers or (2) air-cooled heat exchangers. Although the open-loop, 
water-cooled heat exchanger

[[Page 26675]]

is more efficient, smaller in size, and less expensive, its high use of 
seawater and discharge method could have additional impacts on marine 
life in comparison to the air-cooled heater exchanger. As a result, the 
EIS concluded the use of the air-cooled heat exchanger was the 
preferred alternative.
    In analyzing alternative pipeline routes, the EIS utilized several 
different criteria to identify existing pipeline systems. Those 
criteria include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) A location 
within 150 miles of Henry Hub (2) pipelines with a 36-inch or larger 
diameter; (3) a water-depth location suitable for construction and 
operation of a deepwater port; (4) proximity of 2 to 8 miles of a 
designated shipping safety fairway; and (5) pipeline capacity for the 
requested volume. From this criteria, the EIS then identified the 
following six existing pipeline systems: (1) HIOS/UTOS; (2) Natural Gas 
Pipeline Company, LLC/Stingray Pipeline Company, LLC; (3) Columbia Gulf 
Transmission Company; (4) Kinetica Partners, LLC (western section); (5) 
Sea Robin Pipeline Company, LLC; and (6) Kinetica Partners, LLC 
(central section). Of the six pipeline systems, only two met the siting 
requirements for the proposed Project: HIOS/UTOS and Natural Gas 
Pipeline Company, LLC/Stingray Pipeline Company, LLC. Upon evaluating 
the two remaining pipeline systems, the EIS concluded that due to a 
larger available volume capacity, ultimately the HIOS and UTOS systems 
were the preferred systems.
    For analyzing alternative port locations, the EIS initially relied 
upon the USCG guidelines on siting for LNG deepwater port terminals in 
33 CFR 148.720. Based on those guidelines, the EIS then selected three 
locations: (1) Along the HIOS/UTOS pipeline systems within West Cameron 
Block area; (2) along the HIOS/UTOS pipeline systems within deeper 
water of the West Cameron Block area, approximately 10 nautical miles 
south-southwest of alternative 1; and (3) along the Natural Gas 
Pipeline Company, LLC/Stingray Pipeline Company, systems, approximately 
27 nautical miles from alternative 2.\13\ From these three locations, 
the EIS then compared the following factors: (1) Avoidance of cultural 
resources; (2) engineering; (3) avoidance of geological hazards; (4) 
air emissions and noise; (5) water and sediment quality; (6) commercial 
and recreational fishing; (7) wildlife and protected species; (8) 
socioeconomics; and (9) marine uses and aesthetics. The EIS concluded 
that due to the distance from shore, alternatives 2 and 3 would require 
additional service trips as well as additional compression 
requirements. Furthermore, these alternatives would require longer 
piles for structure purposes that would result in greater noise impacts 
on marine species. Overall, these factors would result in greater noise 
and air emissions compared to the proposed site (alternative 1) and 
thus were not selected.
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    \13\ See EIS pages 2-38 through 2-41 for further details and 
maps of exact site locations.
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    In analyzing alternative use of existing West Cameron 167 offshore 
manifold platform, the EIS did not provide any alternatives to the 
proposed bypass pipeline. Although Delfin proposes to construct 700 
feet of bypass pipeline on the seafloor, the reuse of the existing 
offshore platform would result in greater potential impacts on the 
area. Reuse of the existing offshore manifold platform would require 
removal of the infrastructure and interactions with six other pipeline 
systems utilizing the platform. The EIS made no further analysis of 
this Project area.
    For analyzing alternative mooring systems, the EIS evaluated two 
different mooring systems: (1) Permanent mooring system and (2) 
disconnectable mooring system. The main design criteria for the mooring 
system is to provide a stable environment for the FLNGV operations. For 
the permanent mooring system, the FLNGV would stay moored to the 
location regardless of weather and ocean conditions, thus eliminating 
the flexibility and project design for the self-propelled FLNGV. 
Conversely, the disconnectable mooring system allows the needed 
flexibility for the FLNGV to depart for maintenance purposes as well as 
allow for a much smaller anchoring system. As a result, the EIS 
selected the proposed disconnectable mooring system.
    In analyzing alternative anchoring methods for installing the TYMS 
mooring structure, the EIS considered five different anchor designs. 
The design alternatives included: (1) Suction anchors; (2) driven 
piles; (3) fluke anchors; (4) gravity-based anchors; and (5) grouted 
pile anchors. For evaluating the anchor design alternatives, the EIS 
considered the following six issues: (1) Air emissions; (2) water use 
and discharge; (3) turbidity, sedimentation, and seafloor impacts; (4) 
fisheries impacts; (5) noise impacts; and (6) decommissioning impacts. 
Based on these six issues, the EIS concluded that the driven piles had 
a smaller footprint, fewer installation impacts, and structural design 
advantages pursuant to the geotechnical evaluation of the affected 
area.
    For evaluating alternative Delfin Onshore Facility locations, the 
EIS analyzed and determined the feasibility of the locations based on 
proximity to a gas supply pipeline for the Port, to various gas supply 
header pipelines, and to existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure. 
From these factors, the EIS evaluated the following four locations: (1) 
PSI Cameron Meadows Gas Plant; (2) Transco Station 44; (3) a greenfield 
location adjacent to the PSI Cameron Meadows Gas Plant; and (4) a 
greenfield location adjacent to Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company 
facilities on the north side of Highway 82 approximately 1.3 miles east 
of the three other alternative locations.\14\ The EIS then evaluated 
the four locations based on the following criteria: (1) Proximity to 
the feasible pipeline systems; (2) availability of land for siting a 
compressor station; (3) current land use; (4) proximity to sensitive 
resources (i.e. streams, wetlands, and wildlife; (5) proximity to noise 
sensitive areas; and (6) feasibility of air permitting. Due to the 
potential impacts to the greenfield sites, alternatives 3 and 4 were 
eliminated as those impacts would be greater than the impacts resulting 
from the use of existing infrastructure. Finally, the EIS concluded 
that due to existing pipeline infrastructure, alternative 1 would be 
the preferred location for the compressor station while alternative 2 
would be the preferred locations for the meter station and 
interconnection with gas supply header pipelines.
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    \14\ See Figures 2.3-4 and 2.3-6 within the EIS for more 
details.
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    In analyzing the no action alternative, the EIS reviewed the 
effects of not constructing the Delfin Liquefaction Project.

Environmentally Preferred Alternative

    When compared against the other action alternatives assessed in the 
EIS, as discussed above, the proposed Delfin Liquefaction Project is 
the environmentally preferable alternative. Although the no action 
alternative would avoid the environmental impacts identified in the 
EIS, adoption of this alternative would not meet the Delfin 
Liquefaction Project objectives.

Decision

    DOE has decided to issue Order No. 4028 authorizing Delfin to 
export domestically produced LNG by vessel from the proposed Delfin 
Liquefaction Facility located off the coast of Cameron Parish, 
Louisiana, to non-FTA countries,

[[Page 26676]]

in a volume equivalent to approximately 657.5 Bcf/yr of natural gas for 
a term of 20 years to commence on the earlier of the date of first 
commercial export or seven years from the date that the Order is 
issued.
    Concurrently with this Record of Decision, DOE/FE is issuing Order 
No. 4028, in which it finds that the requested authorization has not 
been shown to be inconsistent with the public interest, and that the 
Application should be granted subject to compliance with the terms and 
conditions set forth in the Order, including all terms and conditions 
described by MARAD in its ROD and/or imposed in MARAD's forthcoming 
deepwater port license for Delfin. Additionally, DOE/FE's authorization 
is conditioned on Delfin's receipt of all connected local, state, and 
federal permits (including FERC's authorization under Section 7 of the 
Natural Gas Act for the Delfin Onshore Facility), and on Delfin's on-
going compliance with any other preventative and mitigative measures 
imposed by other federal or state agencies.

Basis of Decision

    DOE's decision is based upon the analysis of potential 
environmental impacts presented in the EIS, and DOE's determination in 
Order No. 4028 that it has not been shown that Delfin's proposed 
exports will be inconsistent with the public interest, as is required 
to deny Delfin's Application under NGA section 3(a). Although not 
required by NEPA, DOE/FE also considered the Addendum, which summarizes 
available information on potential upstream impacts associated with 
unconventional natural gas activities, such as hydraulic fracturing.

Mitigation

    As a condition of its decision to issue Order No. 4028, DOE is 
imposing requirements that will avoid or minimize the environmental 
impacts of the proposed Liquefaction Facility. These conditions include 
the Best Management Practices, mitigation measures, and conditions in 
the MARAD ROD and forthcoming deepwater port license. Mitigation 
measures beyond those included in Order No. 4028 that are enforceable 
by other Federal and state agencies are additional conditions of Order 
No. 4028. With these conditions, DOE/FE has determined that all 
practicable means to avoid or minimize environmental harm from the 
Delfin Liquefaction Project have been adopted.

Floodplain Statement of Findings

    DOE prepared this Floodplain Statement of Findings in accordance 
with DOE's regulations, entitled ``Compliance with Floodplain and 
Wetland Environmental Review Requirements'' (10 CFR part 1022). The 
required floodplain assessment was conducted during development and 
preparation of the EIS (see Sections 4.11.1 of the EIS). The EIS 
determined that the proposed Delfin Onshore Facility site is classified 
as having a 1-percent-annual-chance of flooding. While the placement of 
these facilities within floodplains would be unavoidable, DOE has 
determined that the current design for the Delfin Liquefaction Project 
minimizes potential harm to or in the floodplain to the extent 
practicable.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 1, 2017.
Jarad Daniels,
Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Fossil Energy.
[FR Doc. 2017-11907 Filed 6-7-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6450-01-P