STATEMENT OF ISSUE: On March 28, 2014, the Southern LNG Company, L.L.C. and Elba Liquefaction Company, L.L.C. submitted Department of the Army application number SAS-2012-1038. This application requests a permit to impact waters of the U.S. to modify the Elba Express Pipeline and Elba Island LNG Terminal to receive natural gas at the terminal, liquefy the gas on site and load liquefied natural gas onto ships for export. Currently, liquid natural gas is brought in on ships, off-loaded to the Elba Island storage facility, converted to gas and distributed throughout the southeast via a network of underground pipelines.
Dredging: In 2014, Savannah District issued permits to SLNG to perform annual maintenance dredging at their ship slip and turning basin.
Disposal Area: On November 9, 2012, Savannah District issued permit number SAS-2006-00650 to SLNG authorizing impacts to 2.23 acres of non-tidal freshwater wetland and 5.67 acres of salt marsh, for the expansion of their existing dredge material containment area located on Elba Island.
Liquefaction Project: Savannah District attended a scoping meeting on May 9, 2013, hosted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). By letter dated May 22, 2013, the District informed FERC of our concerns with the project and recommended the applicant submit a request for a jurisdictional determination for Elba Island and the pipeline corridor. A Joint Public Notice was issued for the liquefaction project on July 7, 2014. Proposed would include: 1) filling 3.53 acres of freshwater wetlands associated with the construction of a wareyard; 2) filling 0.25 acre of tidal marsh for the expansion of the security post; 3) dredging approximately 45,000 cubic yards of sediment via hydraulic cutterhead from the existing barge landing; 4) maintenance dredging 20,000 cubic yards annually via hydraulic cutterhead at the barge landing; and 5) repairs to an existing bulkhead. To compensate for the freshwater impacts the applicant has proposed the purchase of 15.18 wetland credits from an approved mitigation bank. To compensate for the tidal marsh impacts the applicant has proposed a 0.29 acre expansion of the Elba Island Salt Marsh Mitigation Area. FERC is the lead federal agency for compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Magnusson Stevens Act. FERC is currently preparing a draft environmental assessment for the proposed impacts.
CURRENT STATUS: The applicant requested the project be administratively withdrawn while they coordinate with FERC. Savannah District is awaiting the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to be issued by FERC. Once issued, the District will have 15 days to review and provide comments to FERC. Savannah District is drafting their own EA and will adopt portions of the FERC EA, where applicable.
DISTRICT POCs: Sarah Wise, Coastal Branch, Regulatory Division, (912) 652-5550