Cheniere is committed to protecting biodiversity throughout our operational footprint. Located along the Gulf of Mexico, we appreciate and respect the rich biodiversity of our area.
As part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval process for our facilities, a stringent environmental review is undertaken as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), resulting in preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment (EA). Biodiversity issues and cultural resources are addressed as part of this effort.
We also work to minimize impacts to wildlife and consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state agencies as applicable to ensure compliance with the laws protecting threatened and endangered species. The purpose of the EA/EIS is to inform the public and the permitting agencies about the potential adverse and/or beneficial environmental and safety impacts of proposed projects and their alternatives. Resource reports created as part of this assessment process include impacts to fish, wildlife, and vegetation and our commitments to mitigate the impacts through the life of the project. Stakeholders were given the opportunity to comment on the resource reports through public meetings and postings. Any issues identified were addressed prior to final environmental documents and approvals being issued.
Additional details on the environmental assessments, authorizations from different regulatory agencies, and information on the FERC process as well as additional authorizations related to biodiversity issues can be found on the Terminals section of our website. Similarly, authorizations and applications for our pipelines are available at the FERC website.
Compliance and Oversight
As required by our permitting authorities, we conduct thorough environmental assessments before implementing any project. Each assessment considers biodiversity issues, such as potential effects on sensitive species and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We provide a detailed environmental review of our major Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-regulated projects, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Our VP of Corporate Environmental oversees our efforts to minimize biodiversity impacts, including programs associated with various permitting actions at state and federal levels. Our environmental experts are directly involved with the permitting process, fulfilling FERC and other regulatory agency requirements, and developing the resource reports that support the NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Our experts study potential site locations and perform a robust analysis of the species and habitats in the area, identifying stakeholders, and consulting with other relevant federal and state regulatory agencies. We hold public discussions to solicit input from the public and agencies about the project and integrate the results with process information, our commitments, potential impacts, and proposed strategies into resource reports. We outline our strategy for mitigating any potential negative biodiversity impacts during the entirety of the project and conduct field and route surveys to support our regulatory applications.
We submit the resource reports to FERC as part of the application, and depending on requirements, FERC may complete an EA or EIS to provide further information related to the proposed project’s potential environmental and safety impacts. Under the Natural Gas Act, FERC may choose to establish mitigation measures identified in the NEPA process. Once we receive approval from FERC and other resource agencies, the Commission issues a Notice to Proceed with construction.
Our LNG facilities and pipelines are not located in areas of protected conservation status or critical habitat. Construction activities to expand our facilities will not cause additional disturbance to terrestrial areas. Biodiversity factors were considered as part of our determination to minimize construction and operational impacts when we built our two LNG terminals.
In line with our Environmental Policy, we carefully manage projects with an emphasis on reducing and mitigating environmental impacts. For our pipeline operations we:
- Route our pipelines to minimize potential ecosystem impacts
- Restore habitats to pre-construction condition or better, where possible
- Monitor pipeline restoration areas and document habitat restoration
- Restore any affected wetlands or buy wetland credits to offset impacts
Beyond compliance with environmental and wildlife protection laws and regulations, we have developed internal policies and procedures to safeguard ecosystems and wildlife. Our wildlife procedure outlines our approach for interacting with wildlife identified on Cheniere property. Our migratory bird procedure sets out the appropriate actions should a migratory bird nest be found at one of our sites.