The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead federal agency responsible for ensuring the development of safe, reliable, secure and efficient natural gas infrastructure. FERC authorizes the construction of LNG facilities and oversees their operation throughout the life cycle of each facility.
The FERC approval process involves a detailed review of the proposed design of the facility to ensure a high level of safety and a review of any environmental and community impacts.
FERC Review Process
The initial step in FERC’s review process is to submit a request to enter FERC’s pre-filing phase. The pre-filing process helps establish the scope of the environmental review. Driftwood LNG submitted draft Resource Reports to FERC. Final versions of the reports are submitted with the official FERC Application at the end of the pre-filing phase to initiate the formal FERC review process. The publication of these environmental studies provides FERC and the public with information about any potential impacts of the proposed project.
Driftwood LNG and FERC hosted Open House meetings as a forum for the public to learn more about the project and communicate directly with project team members.
This process affords all interested parties, federal and state agencies, and the public, to comment on the project and provide feedback to both FERC and Driftwood LNG. FERC will often submit questions to and request additional information from a project applicant throughout the review process. At the end of FERC’s review, it will issue a Final Environmental Impact Statement, followed by an order on the application.
Construction of the LNG facility and associated pipeline would begin after FERC issues an Order Granting Authority under Section 3 and Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act and once all required federal, state and local permits have been obtained.
Pre-Filing Environmental Review Process
A flowchart of the pre-filing environmental review process is illustrated below. Further information about the FERC review process can be found at www.ferc.gov.
Publicly available documentation for the Driftwood Project can be accessed through the FERC eLibrary. Reference FERC Docket Nos. CP17-117 and CP17-118 when searching for Driftwood files.
May 11, 2016 – Request to Initiate Pre-Filing Review Process
June 6, 2016 – FERC Approval of Pre-Filing Request
March 31, 2017 – FERC Application
March 31, 2017 – FERC Resource Reports
August 31, 2018 – FERC Revised Schedule Notice
September 14, 2018 – FERC Draft EIS
January 1, 2019 – FERC Final EIS
April 18, 2019 – FERC Order
Department of Energy (DOE)
September 26, 2016 – Application for Long-Term Authorization to Export LNG (FE Docket No. 16-144-LNG)
February 28, 2017 – Order Granting Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization to Export LNG by Vessel to Free Trade Agreement Nations
December 6, 2018 – Order Amending Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization to Export LNG by Vessel to Free Trade Agreement Nations
May 2, 2019 – Opinion and Order Granting Long-Term Authorization to Export LNG to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations