The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved the issuance of rights-of-way permits across federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service (NPS) for the $43.4bn Alaska LNG project.
The decision comes two months after the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) gave the green light to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation for the long-awaited 800-mile-long pipeline project that will liquefy and export natural gas produced on Alaska’s North Slope.
In a statement, DOI said it will adopt the FERC environmental impact statement, establish the environmental protections for wetlands, wildlife, recreation access and other resources that will govern access for a LNG pipeline; a major step in the permit process for the project.
The project includes a gas treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay, a 42’ diameter pipeline and a liquefaction facility and export terminal in Nikiski, Alaska.
Approximately 230 miles of the proposed 807-mile pipeline is across Federal lands, DOI said. These lands are mostly managed by the BLM, and most of the affected acreage is in the Dalton Highway/Trans-Alaska Pipeline corridor, which is managed primarily as a utility and transportation corridor.
The BLM and NPS each plan to issue a right-of-way permit to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation in the near future, DOI said.
In June, the US authorised the bulk transportation of LNG by rail. The rule – issued by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) – allows the use of cryogenic railcars to ship LNG from production plants to destinations across the US from late July.