PUBLIC NOTICE OF APPLICATION
FOR COASTAL WETLANDS PERMIT
AND WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION
Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC and Gulf LNG Energy, LLC have filed an application with the Department of Marine Resources requesting permission to conduct regulated activities under the provision of the Coastal Wetlands Protection Law Act, Title 49, Chapter 27, Mississippi Code of 1972.
The applicants are proposing to add liquefaction and export capabilities to the existing Gulf LNG Terminal located adjacent to Bayou Casotte in Pascagoula, Jackson County, Mississippi. The proposed addition will allow: liquefaction of natural gas delivered by pipeline; storage of the liquefied natural gas in the facility’s existing storage tanks; and loading of stored liquefied natural gas onto vessels via the existing marine docking facility. Along with the facility’s existing capability, the proposed liquefaction addition will allow for both the import and export of liquefied natural gas.
The applicant is proposing to fill a total of 38.7 acres of wetlands for the proposed project. Approximately 27.8 acres of tidal and tidally-influenced wetlands would be filled for the expansion of the facility including approximately 9 acres of wetlands previously set aside for mitigation of the existing facility and 2.4 acres of tidal wetlands located within an existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) wetland creation area. Wetlands within this USACE wetland creation area and an additional 4.9-acre area would only be impacted during periods when the proposed flare system is in operation but will be considered as permanent impacts and will require mitigation. Approximately 7.6 acres of non-tidal wetlands are proposed to be filled for a Construction Support Area (CSA) which will be located on Chevron property adjacent to the project site.
The proposed project also includes the construction of two (2) Marine Offloading Facilities (MOFs) to facilitate the offloading of construction materials and equipment. The proposed North MOF will be a permanent dock comprised of 0.91-acre of filled waterbottoms and 0.03-acre of filled emergent marsh requiring 1,000 linear feet of sheet pile wall containment while the South MOF will be a temporary dock comprised of 0.15-acre of filled waterbottoms and 0.18-acre of filled emergent marsh requiring 350 linear feet of sheet-pile wall containment. Approximately 200,000 cubic yards of initial dredging will be required for both MOFs. Samples of dredged material from the MOF locations have been tested and found to be suitable for beneficial use as specified in MS Code § 49-27-61. Upon completion of construction, the North MOF will be transferred to the Jackson County Port Authority (JCPA) and the South MOF will be removed and the area allowed to return to native bathymetric conformations.
Mitigation will be required for impacts to both vegetated wetlands and waterbottoms. Mitigation for the 0.91-acre permanent fill of waterbottoms will be accomplished by a one-time donation to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Coastal Preserves Program in the amount of $117,268.04. Mitigation for non-tidal wetland impacts associated with the project will be accomplished by the purchase of mitigation credits from a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District IRT-approved mitigation bank within the service area. Proposed mitigation for impacts to the remaining 27.8 acres of tidal and tidally-influenced wetlands shall be accomplished by the creation of 50 acres of tidal and tidally-influenced marsh by filling existing state-owned waterbottoms just south of the adjacent USACE mitigation site. The mitigation area will require 22,000 cubic yards of riprap containment along the waterward limits of the site and dredging of approximately 200,000 cubic yards of material within the 50-acre site for a temporary access channel. In addition to the above described mitigation area, a Public Trust Tidelands Lease will be required by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office (MSOS) for the project.
The applicant will be required to request three (3) variances to the Mississippi Coastal Program (MCP) including: Chapter 8, Section 2, Part III.K.1b. and Miss. Admin. Code Title 22, Part 23, Chapter 8, Section 110.02 which states, “Proposed road alignments shall use upland or already disturbed marsh areas.”; Chapter 8, Section 2, Part III.O.1. which states, “Permanent filling of coastal wetlands because of potential adverse and cumulative environmental impacts is discouraged.” and to Miss. Admin. Code Title 22, Part 23, Chapter 8, Section 114.01 which states, “Permanent filling of coastal wetlands below the mean high tide line because of potential adverse and cumulative environmental impacts is not authorized”; Chapter 8, Section 2, Part III.O.2. which states, “Areas containing submerged vegetation or regularly flooded emergent vegetation shall not be filled.” and Miss. Admin. Code Title 22, Part 23, Chapter 8, Section 114.03 which states, “Sensitive coastal wetlands must not be filled.” This public notice and project diagrams may be accessed on MDMR’s website at : https://dmr.ms.gov/permitting/.
In compliance with Section 401 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251, 1341), as amended by PL 95-217, the applicant will request certification from the Office of Pollution Control that the above mentioned activity will be in compliance with applicable provisions of Section 301 (33 U.S.C. 1311), Section 302 (33 U.S.C. 1312), Section 303 (U.S.C. 1313), Section 306 (U.S.C. 1316), and Section 307 (U.S.C. 1317) of the Act and appropriate requirements of the State Law.
Any person wishing to make comments or objections to the proposed regulated activity must submit those comments in writing to the Department of Marine Resources at 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi 39530 before 1:00 p.m. on the day November 22, 2019.