NOAA s Role in the Licensing of Offshore LNG Terminals

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1 NOAA s Role in the Licensing of Offshore LNG Terminals Emily Lindow, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere

2 NOAA and LNG: NOAA s Overall Mission 2

3 NOAA and LNG: NOAA s Line Offices National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) -Office of Habitat Protection -Office of Protected Resources -Regional Offices and Regional Science Centers National Ocean Service (NOS) -Office of National Marine Sanctuaries -Office of Coastal and Resource Management Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) -National Sea Grant College Program National Weather Service National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service Office of Program Planning and Integration 3

4 NOAA and LNG: What is NOAA s Role? NOAA is not the permitting authority for LNG projects NOAA is active in both the Deepwater Ports Act and the FERC licensing processes NOAA s role is to conduct consultations and provide recommendations for avoiding and minimizing impacts to living marine resources and protected species Photo credit: FERC Photo credit: FERC 4

5 NOAA and LNG: Living Marine Resource Concerns 5

6 NOAA and LNG: Legislative Mandates NOAA s role in LNG permitting is based on a number of legislative mandates: Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Endangered Species Act Marine Mammal Protection Act National Marine Sanctuaries Act Coastal Zone Management Act National Environmental Policy Act Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act Photo credit: White House Photo credit: The Architect of the Capitol 6

7 NOAA and LNG: Potential NOAA Consultations or Authorizations Needed for Deepwater Ports Act Licenses Potential NOAA consultations required for ocean and coastal LNG projects: Endangered Species Act: Section 7 Consultations Marine Mammal Protection Act: Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHA) or Letters of Authorization (LOA) Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Consultations National Marine Sanctuaries Act: Section 304(d) Consultations 7

8 NOAA and LNG: Consultations Endangered Species Act (ESA) The listing of a species as endangered under the ESA makes it illegal to take that species. Take is defined under the ESA as "to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct." Federal agencies must consult with NMFS on activities that may affect a listed species under 7(a)(2) Section 7 consultations are designed to assist federal agencies in ensuring their actions do not jeopardize the continued existence of a species, or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat If an action is determined by NMFS to jeopardize a species or adversely modify critical habitat, NMFS will suggest Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs) 8

9 NOAA and LNG: Consultations Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) The MMPA prohibits, with certain exceptions, the take of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas Take is defined as harass, hunt, capture, kill or collect, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, kill or collect Harassment is defined as, any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which has the potential either to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild; or the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering but which does not have the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild Incidental take authorizations can be issued by NMFS (Letters of Authorization or LOAs) if the takings will be of small numbers, have no more than a negligible impact on species, and not have an unmitigable adverse impact on subsistence harvests Incidental harassment authorizations (IHAs) can also be issued by NMFS for authorization to incidentally take small numbers of marine mammals by harassment 9

10 NOAA and LNG: Consultations Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act The Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) consultation requirements of 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act provide that: Federal agencies must consult with the Secretary on all actions, or proposed actions, authorized, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect EFH The Secretary shall provide recommendations (which may include measures to avoid, minimize, mitigate, or otherwise offset adverse effects on EFH) to conserve EFH to federal or state agencies for activities that would adversely affect EHF The federal action agency must provide a detailed response in writing to NMFS and the appropriate Fishery Management Council within 30 days after receiving an EFH conservation recommendation 10

11 NOAA and LNG: Consultations National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) The consultation requirements of 304(d) of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act require interagency consultation between NOAA and federal agencies taking actions likely to destroy, cause the loss of, or injure a sanctuary resource. If the action is likely to injure sanctuary resources, the National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) will develop and recommend reasonable and prudent alternatives If the agency does not follow the NMSP recommendations, and takes an action that results in destruction of, loss of, or injury to a sanctuary resource, they must promptly prevent/mitigate future damage and restore/replace the sanctuary resource in a NMSP approved manner 11

12 NOAA and LNG: Coastal Zone Management Act Issues Under the CZMA, coastal states and territories develop comprehensive and federally approved Coastal Management Programs (CMP) to manage and balance competing uses of and impacts to coastal resources The CZMA emphasizes the primacy of state decision-making and seeks to balance economic development with environmental consideration The Federal Consistency provisions of the CZMA (Section 307) require applicants for federal license or permit activities that have reasonably foreseeable effects on any coastal use or resource of a state s coastal zone to certify to affected states that the proposed activities are consistent with the enforceable policies of state CMPs If a state CMP objects to the certification, the non-federal applicant may appeal to the Secretary of Commerce. The Secretary will override a state s objection if he finds that the activity is consistent with the objectives of the CZMA, or is otherwise necessary in the interests of national security. 12

13 NOAA and LNG: Conclusion NOAA supports environmentally sound ocean and coastal energy development that ensures that marine life and their habitats are protected NOAA staff have conducted workshops with agency and industry representatives to review and discuss impact assessment methodologies NOAA scientists and managers work cooperatively with researchers and the LNG industry to develop monitoring and mitigation plans for LNG terminals NOAA believes LNG terminals can be constructed and operated in a manner consistent with our marine resource conservation mandates We stand prepared to work with industry and agency personnel in the development of economically viable LNG proposals which fully consider practical measures to avoid and minimize adverse marine resource impacts 13

14 14

15 Deepwater Port Licensing Program

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