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Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)

The Tacoma LNG Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) Summary provides a synopsis of the PSE LNG proposal, along with the key findings and mitigation under the FEIS. It also includes a listing of all required permits for the proposal, a description of each permit trigger (possible permit issue), and the contact person/agency for that permit.


The following are some frequently asked questions relating to environmental review of the project. Answers to the attached include:


How is information in the FEIS incorporated into permits for the project?

For the purposes of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), an FEIS is a document intended to ensure that environmental values (both natural and built, including public health) are considered during the decision-making process by local and state agencies. The responsible official for the designated Lead Agency “issues” the FEIS; in the case of the Tacoma LNG project, the Lead Agency is Planning and Development Services - City of Tacoma (see FEIS cover sheet and signature). Local and state agencies with jurisdiction have their separate permit review standards and use the FEIS as context for their permit reviews. Under SEPA, substantive authority agencies, such as the Tacoma Fire Department, can issue, require mitigation, or deny permits based on information in the FEIS. When the FEIS references the “City of Tacoma permit review,” that includes review by the Tacoma Fire Department. So, they are one of the many agencies with jurisdiction to review development permits. In addition, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) has the authority to review/regulate construction and operation under the Federal Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration rules. Additionally, authority is granted to the United States Coast Guard over LNG fueling and operation of vessels and transit in waterways, as well as facility and marine security. These are just a few examples related to safety review; additional agencies will review permits based on their area of expertise, utilizing the background information in the FEIS. A list of required permits is included in the SEPA Fact Sheet. These agencies were all consulted in the preparation of the FEIS.

How would the City ensure disaster preparedness in relation to the project?

Disaster preparedness is handled by the City of Tacoma (coordinated by the Tacoma Fire Department’s Emergency Management Division), Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, Puyallup Tribe, City of Fife, and Port of Tacoma (Port) security services.

Where can I find out more about the safety modeling mentioned in the FEIS?

The 2-D and 3-D PHAST quantitative modeling information specific to the Tacoma LNG project cannot be released at this time as it is the subject of an ongoing court case. The Pierce County Superior Court, in Case No. 16-2-06889-3, ruled that the information could be disclosed, however, that ruling is stayed, or put on hold, until an appeal scheduled for January of 2017 is completed.Chicago Bridge and Iron (CBI) was the engineering firm for Puget Sound Energy (PSE) design of the Tacoma LNG project, and their subcontractor Gexcon conducted the 2-D and 3-D modeling for vapor expansion and thermal radiation. Representatives from Ecology and Environment, Inc. and Braemar Engineering (the City’s consultants) met with CBI to go over the 2-D model and reviewed the modeling results. PSE also provided the results of the 3-D FLACS modelling that was completed by Gexcon, who developed the software; it is the accepted model by both industry and federal regulatory agencies (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration). To learn more about modeling for the risk of fire and explosion, visit the Gexcon website.


This modeling is also required by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) for approval to construct the facility, and the Tacoma Fire Department will officially require the full modeling to be submitted at the building permit stage. As indicated above, this information is bound by the Critical Energy Infrastructure Information laws. For more information on these laws, interested parties can direct their questions to the WUTC.

Where can I find additional information and track the project?

Visit the Tacoma Fire Department LNG FAQ webpage for updates on the status of their review of the proposed LNG project. The City of Tacoma Planning and Development Services website will also continue to updated through the permitting process. Even though the project is going through an appeal at the Shorelines Hearings Board, the City is still communicating with the applicant on project design. 


Notice of Availability – Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) 

On November 9, 2015, the City re-issued the FEIS for the proposed PSE Liquefied Natural Gas facility in the Tacoma Tideflats. A comment letter was omitted from the FEIS and has now been included; changes have been made to Section 3.1 Earth and to Section 4 Comments/Responses. The full and final FEIS is now available and has been mailed to the Department of Ecology. The official notice has been mailed as required by code.


Cover Letter for Notice of Availability - November 9, 2015 (revised)  
Notice of Availability - October 26, 2015 
Reissued Final Environmental Impact Statement LNG - November 9, 2015  
Reissued Final Environmental Impact Statement LNG - Appendices - November 9, 2015 
Reissued Final Environmental Impact Statement LNG - Full Document - November 9, 2015