The Matanuska-Susitna Borough filed a motion today with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to request a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). “In light of the significant inadequacy of the DEIS with respect to its analysis of Port MacKenzie, MSB is filing this motion with the commission in an effort to correct foundational flaws of DEIS,” the motion states.
The Mat-Su Borough believes a supplemental DEIS is the best, most efficient means of avoiding a prolonged delay to the permitting process. It will also give the Mat-Su Borough a fair assessment of its actual capabilities that exist at Port MacKenzie and would correct inaccurate, misleading and missing information, as presented in the DEIS. “Misinformation being provided by AGDC is already causing headaches with potential customers. The Mat-Su Borough is having to correct fictitious information when speaking to potential users of the Port,” said Borough Manager John Moosey.
On June 28, 2019, a Notice of Availability for the DEIS was issued by FERC as proposed by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC). The DEIS purports to include a basic analysis of the Port MacKenzie Alternative as well as several other options but failed to provide a full and complete analysis of any kind in the Environmental Analysis sections and actually eliminates Port MacKenzie from consideration altogether as a reasonable alternative site for the liquefaction facility because the DEIS alleges Port MacKenzie cannot meet a project objective. The DEIS states “…the Port MacKenzie Alternative would not allow for a future interconnect with an existing ENSTAR pipeline at the southern end of the system…nearer to Kenai Peninsula area.” However, no such “objective” exists and that AGDC filings make it clear that such an interconnect is not an integral component of the project and therefore, cannot be a deal breaker. The Mat-Su Borough points out that, “There is no reference whatsoever to a ‘Kenai Peninsula interconnect,’ or any particular interconnect locations in the DEIS Purpose and Need Statement.” MSB believes there are other existing solutions to supply North Slope gas to the Kenai Peninsula.
If FERC agrees to a revised, or supplemental DEIS, it would come with an “Alternative Analysis” that eliminates significant deficiencies in the current DEIS. This will ensure compliance with the procedures that lead to determining the Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative (LEDPA) LNG site. The motion further states, “The DEIS currently fails to provide adequate information for the Army Corps of Engineers (COE) to determine the LEDPA for the Project’s Liquefaction facility.”
“We fully support this LNG project, no matter where it ends up, but everyone needs to use the most accurate available information when assessing Port MacKenzie’s existing marine facilities and capabilities. First and foremost, a proper evaluation is required by the law and if the law is not followed, it calls into question the whole permitting process,” said Moosey.