Category Archives: PHMSA

WWALS response to opposition comments by Eagle LNG about small, inland LNG 2022-10-17

Safety, water, air, and economy are still at risk because of the regulatory gap FERC opened in 2014 and 2015 when it abandoned oversight of small, inland, LNG facilities. That gap has left PHMSA holding the bag for environmental oversight, which PHMSA does not do. It has left DoE FE authorizing LNG export licenses with no environmental oversight.

WWALS supplied much new evidence and developments about the safety, environmental, and economic effects of such facilities in this rebuttal of opposition comments by Eagle LNG. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) should take this new information into account in opening a Rulemaking to revisit, reconsider, and possibly revoke its decisions to abandon oversight of such facilities.

[Introduction, Conclusion]
Introduction, Conclusion

The letter

On October 17, 2022, WWALS filed this PDF with FERC as Accession Number 20221017-5134, “RESPONSE of WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. to opposition comments by EAGLE LNG under RM22-21-000.”

See also: Continue reading

FERC must close regulatory gaps in small-scale inland LNG export facilities –Cecile Scofield 2022-08-11

Update 2022-09-19: Comment on FERC LNG Export Rulemaking with Florida Physicians for Social Responsibility 2022-09-20.

Update 2022-09-13: One week left to comment on FERC LNG Rulemaking, deadline 2022-09-20.

Should citizens be expected to pay $33,690 to file a Petition for Declaratory Order just to get FERC to oversee LNG facilities like the law says they should?

Cecile Scofield details many other problems FERC created back in 2014 and 2015 when it abdicated oversight of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export facilities that do not load directly onto onceangoing tanker ships.

[Flaws in FERC's reasoning; citizens cannot be expected to police LNG]
Flaws in FERC’s reasoning; citizens cannot be expected to police LNG

You can also file comments on FERC Rulemakeing for small inland LNG export facilities, started at the request of WWALS et. al. Your comments do not have to be as elaborate as Cecile’s, and you have until September 20, 2022.

Your organization could also intervene on FERC Docket RM22-21, as two organizations have done: Public Citizen and Food and Water Watch.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/


FERC Accession Number 20220811-5068 in FERC Docket RM22-21, SMALL-SCALE INLAND LNG EXPORT FACILITIES: FERC MUST CLOSE REGULATORY GAPS (see also PDF)

Purpose of Petition for Rulemaking:

The proposed Rulemaking is needed to clear up ambiguity as to Continue reading

Feds will delay Bomb Train Decision until Christmas –CBS12 2022-07-25

Cecile “CeCe” Scofield is famous for related activity in addition to being the driving force behind the WWALS Petition to FERC for Rulemaking on small, inland, LNG facilities, on which you can comment or intervene.

[Oncoming Train --CBS 12 News, 2022-07-25]
Oncoming Train –CBS 12 News, 2022-07-25

Mike Magnoli, CBS12.com, July 25, 2022, I-Team: Feds will delay “Bomb Train” Decision until Christmas, Continue reading

Titusville LNG denied by PHMSA 2018-10-02

Two years later, PHMSA still lists New Fortress Energy’s Titusville LNG facilty as Denied.

The missing piece in NFE’s application? A “Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA)” with “site drawings, maps, and other supporting documents.”

Funny how when a liquid natural gas (LNG) facility has to submit these things, often it can’t.

With the LNG market overseas cratering, maybe this one will stay dead. But we must keep watch to be sure it does not reappear, zombie-like, right in the middle of Florida’s Atlantic coast, able to ship by truck and rail as far as Jacksonville and Miami, as well as overseas.

[LNG--TITUSVILLE--PHMSA--LETTER-DENYING-APPLICATION--10.02.18-0001]
LNG–TITUSVILLE–PHMSA–LETTER-DENYING-APPLICATION–10.02.18-0001
PDF

The denial letter is Continue reading

Proposed AGL settlement for Homerville Explosion –GA-PSC 2020-02-13

More than the $250,000 proposed last September, but still only 15% of the $2,305,000 previously proposed by GA-PSC staff: that’s the proposed settlement that Atlanta Gas Light will have to pay for the explosion that blew up a coffeeshop in August 2018 and sent three women to hospital with third-degree burns. The incident for which even PHMSA asked for clarification of how serious it was.

Most of the larger proposed fine was apparently because of lack of investigation or reporting even after the event.

Photo: Georgia State Insurance Commission Office, of aftermath of Homerville Coffeeshop explosion
Photo: State Insurance Commission Office, via WALB

Edan Schultz, WALB TV, 14 February 2020, Settlement proposed in Homerville coffee shop gas explosion,

“Last year was staff’s estimate of the top penalty, should all infractions be fined at the maximum rate. In this proposed agreement, rather than simply fine AGL at the maximum rate, the PSC and AGL came up with a solution that will help prevent an accident like this from happening again,” said PSC spokesman Tom Krause.

[Commissioner Jason Shaw (on right)]
Commissioner Jason Shaw (on right)

Commissioner Jason Shaw said AGL’s “voluntary contributions” totaling $347,000 would help prevent further such incidents. The phrase he and Krause used was Continue reading

How Florida can pick up slack from FERC shirking its LNG oversight duties –Cecile Scofield in TCPalm 2020-01-15

Longtime WWALS member Cecile Scofield in TCPalm, January 15, 2020, Liquified natural gas needs regulation in Florida,

You and a friend decide to go into business together. You draft your business plan and delineate each person’s responsibilities for the operation. But what happens if one of you decides to shirk your assigned duties? Your business venture will be doomed to failure.

[WWALS LNG Export Map]
WWALS LNG Export Map
PDF

This is exactly what has happened with regulating a new breed of inland Liquefied Natural Gas export facilities in Florida. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) outlines each agency’s role in exercising regulatory authority over the siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and expansion of LNG facilities. See https://tinyurl.com/tdhxazn.

LNG facilities are regulated, in part, by Continue reading

No LNG by Rail Rule –WWALS to PHMSA 2020-01-13

One of seventeen reasons for PHMSA to reject its own proposed rule for LNG in rail tanker cars:

  • The solution to risks of leaks, wrecks, and explosions of LNG truck tankers is not to add another source of risk in LNG rail cars, no matter what design.

[FEC Timetable North from Miami to Jacksonville]
FEC Timetable North from Miami to Jacksonville

Many thanks to Maxine Connor and Cecile Scofield for comments, corrections, and additions of this WWALS comment, sent to the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) yesterday, which was the deadline for comment on PHMSA Notice of Proposed Rulemanking (NPRM HM-264) Hazardous Materials: Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail, PHMSA Docket No. PHMSA-2018-0025.

Cecile also had already filed her own excellent comment. Both hers and this WWALS comment draw on a fascinatingly wrong and inadequate document Cecile previously obtained via FOIA: Continue reading

AGL pipeline explosion settlement deferred again by GA-PSC for state-wide safety: needs to add LNG 2019-09-19

For more time to examine where gas detectors are needed throughout the state, GA-PSC has again deferred voting on the AGL settlement. As Commissioner Jason Shaw said at the first deferral Tuesday, they want to “make sure that all across the state we can make sure that this type of equipment…” is available.

Plus GA-PSC should take a hard look at AGL subsidiary Pivotal LNG’s Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) liquefaction facilities and truck and train routes from them to Jacksonville, Florida, especially since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has shirked its oversight duties for inland LNG facilities.

AGL pipeline map, Georgia
Georgia, AGL Pipeline Map, in Homerville, GA pipeline explosion, by John S. Quarterman, 17 August 2018

AGL has pipelines all over the state of Georgia. I don’t know any reason to believe any of them are any safer than the one that goes from my property in Lowndes County to Homerville in Clinch County (and to Moody Air Force Base, to parts of Valdosta, to Ray City in Berrien County, and to Lakeland in Lanier County).

The map above is the newest I could find online. It was last updated in 2008, more than a decade ago. No doubt AGL can provide the PSC with more current mapping data. Maybe the PSC could require AGL to provide an updated map to the public.

The Public Map Viewer by the Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Administration (PHMSA) is no help: it does not include AGL’s distribution pipelines such as the one to Homerville.

PHMSA was sufficiently concerned about the Homerville Coffee Corner explosion that it wrote on AGL’s report to PHMSA: Continue reading

Extended: PHMSA LNG by rail car exception until 2019-08-07 on 2019-07-09

The only extension request PHMSA admitted to today, as it extended the comment period for a month, was from two members of Congress. That request notes:

If Energy Transport Solutions intends to run 100+ rail tank cars on the Florida East Coast Railway, PHMSA would be placing large swaths of people and critical infrastructure (hospitals, schools, highways, and even the President’s Mar-a-Lago resort) in jeopardy.

[3.3.2 Probability of Delayed Ignition]
3.3.2 Probability of Delayed Ignition

PHMSA also took the opportunity to add an Updated Environmental Assessment (EA), and a Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA), which is worthless: “The scope of the QRA addresses unit train movements along one example route located in the Northeastern United States.” The QRA has no maps nor any specific identification of populations, schools, hospitals, businesses, nor even identification of which route is the example, nor which other routes might be used for shipping LNG by rail.

This all to me sounds like PHMSA always intended to extend, and to add these less than useful documents.

PHMSA also claims it added “The Energy Transport Solutions, LLC special permit application (in redacted form)” but I can’t find that online, so we still don’t even really know who the applicant is.

Extension Notice

Continue reading

PHMSA LNG by rail car exception 2019-06-06

Alachua County, New Jersey legislators, WWALS, and the U.S. House of Representatives oppose this PHMSA LNG-by-rail exception, and you can, too.

[Special Permit- Draft-0001]
Special Permit- Draft-0001

PHMSA proposes to authorize LNG in ordinary cryogenic rail cars, in an exception for a subsidiary of the company that owns Hialeah LNG and already sends LNG in containers by rail for export. “In most cases, ETS would expect that the ultimate end-users of this LNG will be foreign generators of power for residential, commercial and industrial purposes,” says the Draft Environmental Assessment. Why should we risk our homes, schools, businesses, hospitals, etc. for private export profit from New Fortress Energy’s Hialeah LNG plant near Miami? Or for a liquefaction plant in Pennsylvania or New Jersey?

PHMSA posted this extension request on June 3rd, and the deadline for comment is this Monday, July 8, 2019. WWALS signed onto an extension request by Physicians for Social Responsibility. You can still send in a copy of that request or other comments by Monday. WWALS will be filing another comment letter, as well.

The only ETS google maps finds in Doral, FL, is Continue reading