The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has determined that constructing and operating the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon, and its associated pipeline would have minimal impact on endangered species and their habitat
Being developed by Canadian energy company Pembina Pipeline Corporation, US$10Bn Jordan Cove LNG will connect to gas supplies in the US and Canada via the 396-km Pacific Connector Liquid Natural Gas pipeline.
Jordan Cove LNG will have five trains, each with a capacity of 1.56 mta and produce a total of 7.8 mta of LNG using Black & Veatch liquefaction technology. Jordan Cove LNG will also have two 160,000-m3 storage tanks, one marine berth and one dedicated tractor tug docking facility. First gas from the export facility will be in 2024.
Black & Veatch has completed the front-end engineering and design work and pre-construction planning for the Jordan Cove LNG export facility.
As the first new LNG export facility on the US west coast in 50 years, Jordan Cove LNG will be an attractive alternative to LNG buyers in Asia. For example, it would be a nine-day voyage to Tokyo.
In issuing its determination, NOAA considered the effects of constructing and operating the terminal and pipeline on 17 species listed under the US Endangered Species Act and their critical habitats. In its assessment, NOAA said the impacts on whales, sea turtles, salmon and other fish species “would occur only in the short-term or on small scales.”
NOAA said Pembina Pipeline Corporation committed to best management practices that would reduce effects on listed species, and proposed mitigation measures that will benefit species in the long-term.
Among mitigation measures proposed by Pembina will be restoring tidelands and the freshwater floodplain that provide an important habitat for protected salmon and other species. Pembina would also restore and improve freshwater habitats at 60 sites along the pipeline route, including placing large wood in streams, riparian vegetation planting and fencing, fish passage improvement, and road improvements that will reduce delivery of fine sediment to streams.
NOAA’s decision follows the final environmental impact statement issued by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (US FERC) in November concluding Jordan Cove LNG’s development would result in “temporary, long-term and permanent impacts on the environment.” Many of those impacts would not be significant or could be reduced to less than significant levels with mitigation measures, but US FERC staff concluded that some would be adverse and significant.
US FERC commissioners are expected to issue their final order on Jordan Cove LNG on 13 February.