U.S. DoI grants right-of-way permits to Alaska LNG
The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved the Alaska LNG pipeline project rights-of-way permits across federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service (NPS).
These decisions, which adopt the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) environmental impact statement (EIS), establish the environmental protections for wetlands, wildlife, recreation access and other resources that will govern access for a liquified natural gas pipeline, the DoI said.
It also noted this is a major step in the permit process for the project.
The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation is seeking permits to construct and operate the Alaska LNG project, which would transport natural gas for export to foreign markets and provide for in-state gas deliveries.
Access across Federal lands is required for approximately 230 miles of the 807-mile pipeline. These lands are mostly managed by the BLM, and most of the affected acreage is in the Dalton Highway/Trans-Alaska Pipeline corridor, which is managed primarily as a utility and transportation corridor.
The project includes a gas treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay, a buried 42” diameter pipeline, and a liquefaction facility and export terminal in Nikiski, Alaska.
The NPS is issuing a right-of-way for the approximately six-mile portion of the pipeline within a non-wilderness area of the Denali National Park and Preserve (DNPP). The route selected through the park is near the existing transportation corridor (the Parks Highway and Alaska Railroad extend across this area of the park), which limits impacts to park viewsheds and overall acreage of wetlands, and reduces the need for additional roads and their associated impacts.
While FERC is the lead agency, under Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, better known as FAST-41, it was determined there should be one EIS for the project with each federal agency relevant to the project contributing to the EIS development. In a FAST-41 project, each agency produces a record of decision, as necessary. In all, there are nine cooperating federal agencies, including the BLM, NPS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, DoI said in its notice.