Action Alert: FERC sets public hearings on AKLNG DEIS
Comment deadline October 3, 2019

                                                                                                                                                                       RDC Comments

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the proposed Alaska LNG Project and has scheduled eight public meetings around the state in September to hear public comments on the document. 

FERC released the 3,800-page draft environmental review earlier this summer. Allowing time for state and federal agency review, along with revisions to the draft, FERC’s schedule calls for release of the final EIS in March 2020 and a Record of Decision on the project application in June 2020.

The State, which has been directing the estimated $43 billion project through the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), plans to finish the work with FERC and look for a path forward with private companies in the lead. 

The DEIS found that most project impacts would not be significant and would be reduced to minor impacts with the implementation of proposed avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures.

FERC is the lead on the environmental review of the project to pipe North Slope gas 807 miles to a natural gas liquefaction plant and marine terminal in Nikiski, on the Kenai Peninsula. The DEIS was prepared with the assistance of nine other federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Environmental Protection Agency, National Marine Fisheries Service, Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Land Management.

Action Requested:

RDC members are encouraged to participate in the public comment period by attending one of the meetings and/or submitting comments in support of the project. All meetings are scheduled for 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Monday, September 9

Inupiat Heritage Center, Utqiagvik
Trapper Creek Elementary School, Trapper Creek

Tuesday, September 10

Kisik Community Center, Nuiqsut
Houston Fire Station, Houston

Wednesday, September 11

Tri-Valley Community Center, Healy
Nikiski Recreation Center, Nikiski

Thursday, September 12

Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, Fairbanks
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage

Submit Comments:

Comments online: ferc.gov. By mail: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; 888 First Ave. NE, Room 1A; Washington, DC 20426. All comments should include the project’s docket number: CP17-178-000.

Points to consider in your comments: 

  • The DEIS states project construction would result in economic benefits throughout Alaska from worker spending, purchases of materials, supplies, and taxes.
  • The construction of a gas pipeline would supply Alaskans with clean energy and improve air quality.
  • The project would provide Alaskans and Alaska companies with new economic opportunities.
  • The DEIS finds that with the implementation of best management practices, impacts on wildlife would not be significant, and would be mitigated.
  • The DEIS notes impact on recreation areas during construction would be temporary and minor.  
  • In Alaska, the project would reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of natural gas. Through potential sales, it would also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide clean energy to a significant portion of the total world population.  
  • DEIS finds the extent of impacts to subsistence activities would vary by community but overall the impacts would not be significant.
  • The DEIS concludes most project impacts would not be significant and would be reduced to minor impacts with the implementation of proposed avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures.
  • AGDC’s in water activities would follow mitigation measures developed in conjunction with stakeholders, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service to minimize impacts to marine mammals and their behavior.
  • Establishment of Local Subsistence Implementation Councils to identify community issues and concerns will help to ensure impacts to subsistence activities are minimal.
  • Over eight years, 29,100 construction jobs would be created by the project with peak employment during the project’s fourth year at 7,620 jobs. 
  • Approximately 980 operation jobs in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the Municipality of Anchorage and the North Slope Borough would help spur local and statewide economic activity with total annual wages of $385 million. 
  • Connection to the Interior Gas Utility would provide assurance of a long-term, economic energy supply for Fairbanks and North Pole residents, and both commercial and industrial users.
  • Smaller communities along the pipeline route could benefit through affordable, reliable natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial users.
  • Interconnection of the main gas pipeline to the existing Southcentral pipeline infrastructure/network would provide assurance of long-term, economic energy supplies for residential, commercial and industrial users.
  • The additional in-state natural gas could support new resource development projects in need of affordable energy. 
  • The transportation of project-related supplies from the Port of Seward to Fairbanks would benefit the economy. 
  • Ports in Southcentral Alaska – Seward, Whittier, Anchorage, Beluga, and Nikiski – would see increased revenues and new jobs as the primary points of entry for offloading equipment and materials. 
  • Dutch Harbor would serve as the staging area for major sealift modules providing the community with economic benefits. 
  • The proposed liquefaction facility would be located in an area that has served as an industrial area for the past 50-plus years.
  • The gas pipeline will follow the existing Trans-Alaska Pipeline corridor and the George Parks Highway Right-of-Way. From Prudhoe Bay to Beluga, the pipeline route is the same one permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline.

Comment deadline is October 3, 2019