Amended Notice of Intent To Prepare the Environmental Impact Statement for a Proposed Federal Loan Guarantee for the Indiana Gasification, LLC, Industrial Gasification Facility in Rockport, IN, and CO2
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces its intent to expand the scope of an environmental impact statement (EIS) (DOE/EIS- 0429) to analyze the environmental impacts for its proposed action of issuing a Federal loan guarantee to Indiana Gasification, LLC, (IG) for the construction and startup of both a proposed coal-to-substitute natural gas (SNG) gasification facility in Rockport, Indiana, and a proposed carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline. On November 12, 2009, DOE issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS, titled ``Environmental Impact Statement for a Proposed Federal Loan Guarantee for the Indiana Gasification, LLC, Industrial Gasification Facility in Rockport, Indiana,'' to analyze the construction and startup of the SNG facility. The NOI invited comments on the proposed scope and content of the EIS. DOE also conducted a scoping meeting in Rockport on December 3, 2009. IG originally intended to capture and sell the CO2 produced during the gasification process to a third party, Denbury Resources, Inc., (Denbury), which would construct a pipeline to transport CO2 from the SNG facility in Rockport to storage facilities or oil fields, where it would be used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. In the event a CO2 pipeline was not constructed by Denbury and there was no other reasonable alternative to sequester the CO2, the CO2 would have been released to the atmosphere. In October 2011, IG requested an increase in the amount of DOE's loan guarantee for the proposed project to cover additional costs to incorporate the construction and startup of a proposed 441-mile CO2 pipeline. This pipeline would transport as liquefied gas 85% to 90% of the CO2 generated at the proposed SNG facility (approximately 6.4 million tons annually), from Rockport, Indiana, across Kentucky and Tennessee, to Tinsley in Yazoo County, Mississippi. At Tinsley the pipeline would connect to Denbury's existing Delta CO2 Pipeline for distribution of CO2 for eventual use by Denbury in EOR operations in the Gulf Coast region. Accordingly, DOE is issuing this Amended NOI to invite Federal agencies, state and local governments, Native American tribes, other organizations, and members of the public to submit comments that identify environmental issues associated with adding the CO2 pipeline to the original project (the SNG facility). DOE hereby invites public participation in shaping the broadened scope of the ongoing EIS, now retitled ``Environmental Impact Statement for a Proposed Federal Loan Guarantee for the Indiana Gasification, LLC, Industrial Gasification Facility in Rockport, Indiana, and CO2 Pipeline.'' DOE also provides notice of the intent to prepare a floodplain and wetland assessment. DOE invites those agencies with jurisdiction by law, or special expertise related to the modified proposed action, to request cooperating agency status to assist with the preparation of the EIS.
Amended Notice of Intent Modifying the Scope of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Hydrogen Energy California's Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Project, Kern County, CA
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) is publishing this Amended Notice of Intent to inform the public of changes in the scope of an ongoing environmental impact statement (EIS). In this EIS, DOE will assess the potential environmental impacts of a project proposed by Hydrogen Energy California, LLC, (HECA) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality's NEPA regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), and DOE's NEPA regulations (10 CFR Part 1021). DOE's proposed action is to provide financial assistance for the construction and operation of HECA's project, which would produce and sell electricity, carbon dioxide and fertilizer. DOE selected this project for an award of financial assistance through a competitive process under the Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) program. This Amended Notice of Intent provides information about changes to the project's design, HECA's ownership, and DOE's plans for completing the NEPA process that occurred after publication of the original Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on April 6, 2010 (75 FR 17397-401). HECA's project would demonstrate integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology with carbon capture in a new electricity generating plant in Kern County, California. The plant would use a blend of 75 percent coal and 25 percent petroleum coke (petcoke) and would capture, sell and sequester carbon dioxide on a commercial scale. It would also produce and sell fertilizer and other nitrogenous compounds. The project would gasify the coal and petcoke to produce synthesis gas (syngas), which would then be purified to produce a hydrogen-rich fuel for a combustion turbine that would generate electricity while minimizing emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury, and particulates compared to conventional coal-fired power plants. In addition, the project would achieve a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture efficiency of approximately 90 percent at steady-state operation. The captured CO2 would be compressed and transported via pipeline to the adjacent Elk Hills Oil Field (owned and operated by Occidental of Elk Hills, Inc. (OEHI)) for injection into deep underground oil reservoirs for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), resulting in geologic sequestration. The EIS will inform DOE's decision on whether to provide financial assistance under its CCPI Program to HECA's project, which has an estimated capital cost of $4 billion. DOE's financial assistance (or ``cost share'') would be limited to $408 million, about 10 percent of the project's total cost. DOE's financial assistance is also limited to certain aspects of the power and manufacturing plants, carbon capture, and sequestration. The EIS will evaluate the potential impacts of DOE's proposed action, the project proposed by HECA and any connected actions, and reasonable alternatives to DOE's proposed action. The purposes of this Amended Notice of Intent are to: (1) Inform the public about DOE's proposed action and HECA's proposed project, including information on features of the project that have changed since publication of the first NOI; (2) describe how DOE intends to coordinate its NEPA review with the California Energy Commission's process for deciding whether to certify the project; (3) solicit comments for DOE's consideration regarding the scope and content of the EIS; (4) invite those agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise to be cooperating agencies in preparation of the EIS; and (5) provide notice that the proposed project may involve potential impacts to floodplains and wetlands. DOE does not have regulatory jurisdiction over the HECA project. Its decisions are limited to whether and under what circumstances it would provide financial assistance to the project. There are a number of state and federal agencies that do have regulatory authority over the project; one of them is the California Energy Commission (CEC), which is responsible for power plant licensing under the Warren-Alquist Act (Cal. Pub. Res. Code Sec. 25500 et seq.). This licensing process (referred to as ``certification'') is established by California law and will consider all relevant environmental aspects of HECA's proposed project. Under state law, the certification process fulfills the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA; Cal. Pub. Res. Code Sec. 21000 et seq.). CEC will hold public meetings, issue a final staff assessment, conduct evidentiary hearings, and issue a decision based on the hearing record, which will include the CEC's and other parties' assessments. The CEC conducts an independent analysis of the proposed project and prepares an assessment of its potential environmental impacts, potential conditions of certification (e.g. mitigation measures), and reasonable alternatives. The CEC also consults with interested Native American tribes and local, regional, state, and federal agencies, and will coordinate its environmental review with other agencies, including the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR). Pursuant to California law and a grant of primacy from the United States Environmental Protection Agency regarding Class II wells under section 1425 of the Safe Drinking Water Act, DOGGR has responsibility for permitting EOR injection and extraction wells and will separately permit the OEHI EOR project. DOGGR will coordinate with the CEC.\1\
SunShot Prize: America's Most Affordable Rooftop
The Department of Energy (DOE) announces in this notice the release of the SunShot Prize: America's Most Affordable Rooftop Solar for public comment. Interested persons are encouraged to learn about the SunShot Prize: America's Most Affordable Rooftop rules at eere.energy.gov/solar/sunshot/prize.html.
International Energy Agency Meetings
The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) will meet on June 26, 2012, at the headquarters of the IEA in Paris, France in connection with a joint meeting of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ) and the IEA's Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM) to be held on the same date; and on June 27-28 in connection with a meeting of the SEQ on June 27 and 28.