PLANS FOR LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS TRANSPORT BY RAIL

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 2:30pm

NEWS BREAK - AMERICAN LNG MARKETING HAS APPLIED FOR AUTHORIZATION TO EXPORT LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS

 

 

 

 

 

Questions/Concerns regarding Application of American LIMG Marketing LLC for authorization to export Liquefied Natural Gas

  • American LNG Marketing claims, based exclusively on their own interpretations of regulations and law, that they are exempt from any oversight of virtually all Governmental agencies - if this is the case, who is going to ensure that the public is protected?
  • There is a reason why state and federal agencies regulate LNG facilities across the country. There is no reason why this project would or should be exempt from the safety, security and environmental protection requirements of other facilities. In fact, because of its location adjacent to both Miami International Airport and the densely populated Miami Springs residential neighborhood, there is an even more compelling argument that additional oversight might be needed for such a facility.
  • In April of 2014, an explosion at an LNG facility led to evacuations within two miles of the plant. Given the proximity of this facility to Miami International Airport, the FAA has a clear interest in public oversight and regulation of this plant.
  • American LNG Marketing proposes trucking LNG from their plant to the Port of Miami. Have their neighbors had any opportunity to provide input on the path these trucks will take. Have they even had the opportunity to learn about this project? A project that is already under construction.
  • The facility plans to interconnect with the FGT pipeline. This is the same interstate pipeline that carries natural gas to power plants throughout South Florida that we all rely on for our electricity, yet they claim no review is needed from the federal agency that oversees interstate pipelines. Any disruption to the FGT pipeline could have severe impacts on these power plants.
  • How is it that a facility like this could be under construction without any public disclosure, notice or input? On Page 8, American LNG Marketing states "DOE/FE must grant such an application unless opponents of the application overcome that presumption by making an affirmative showing of inconsistency with the public interest." Even if this statement were accurate, there has been no public disclosure, no public notice, no public meetings and no agency reviews.  How then would anyone be able to make such "affirmative showing"?
  • The project is also claiming a categorical exemption from environmental regulations or assessment because it is sited in a rail yard. However, the air over that rail yard is the same air shared by all its neighbors. The liquefaction process and any emergency contingencies for a boil-off release methane and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Any other facility that docs this is required to obtain an air permit, generally BEFORE construction begins. Most other regulated liquefaction facilities are built on sites much larger and with much greater separation from homes and public facilities (such as airports). 
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the agency tasked with regulating LNG facilities. One of the factors they review and oversee closely is safety - safety of workers and safety of the communities surrounding these facilities. Yet, American LNG Marketing has determined on its own and, without any input from FERC, that they are exempt from FERC oversight.
  • On Page 14, the application claims that they are under construction and will complete construction "regardless of the outcome'7 of the sole permit application they have made. The justification they claim is that they have entered into commercial contracts that create an obligation for them to supply LNG to the FEC Railroad. No company can claim exemption from governmental regulation on the basis that they have entered into sales contracts to supply a product. In this case, the claim is even more baseless in that the company they contracted with is a related entity. American LNG Marketing provides examples of other facilities that FERC has determined do not fall under FERC regulation and claims they can rely on those determinations for their own facility. However, these other facilities went before FERC, in a public process, for that determination. American LNG Marketing did not.
  • On Page 16, they cite FERC's decision that Emera does not fall under FERC regulation and they also state "The Hialeah Facility's operations are nearly identical to those in Emera. “ This is not the case. The facility in Emera was simply compressing natural gas.
  • The Hialeah facility will be changing natural gas from a gas to a liquid; this is a completely different process. 
  • On Page 20, they claim a categorical exemption from the National Environmental Policy Act's requirements because Carib Energy received exclusion. But, Carib's exclusion was based on the fact they were only receiving LNG from a facility that had already met all FERC and NEPA regulations and requirements. This is not the case with American LNG Marketing. 
  • The map in the filing's addendum fails to show the adjacent neighbors to the Hialeah Rail Yard
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