Environmental Groups Pushing Public Comment on Approvals for Elba Island Gas Expansion

CHATHAM COUNTY, GA (WSAV-TV) – A nearly $2 billion dollar project would result in Kinder Morgan expanding Elba Island to an export facility for liquid natural gas (LNG).

Following a federal energy groups potential approval of the project, the coastal Georgia Sierra Club held a meeting to inform the public about the project.

“The public has an opportunity to make comments on the environmental assessment and we are encouraging people to ask for a much more rigorous environmental impact statement,” says local chapter chairwoman Karen Grainey.

The project would convert the plant to export gas by the tune of more than 2 million tons a year. The official statement by staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory commission (FERC) estimates the project, in it’s peak construction phase, would require more than 1300 workers but would eventually “taper off to 110 by the time Phase II Commissioning begins.”

“There’s going to be a lot of pollution attached to that a lot of development. huge construction project, huge numbers of trucks going through Savannah, during construction they’re estimating about ten thousand trucks a month,” says Grainey.

The conclusion of an environmental assessment by FERC supported the project as long as it followed “appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.”

Kinder Morgan spokespersons tell News 3 they are pleased with the commission’s assessment and intend to follow the outlined safety measures.

In the end, it’s a statement local environmentalists says falls short of looking at the big picture.

“The trucks they are proposing now will be carrying highly flammable and toxic refrigerants.”

A spokesman for the company says if the commission makes final approval they will begin training on site later in the year with official construction phases beginning in 2018.

You can view the FERC EA below and in it includes information to send public comment to the commission before the March 7th deadline.



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