Tacoma Methanol SEPA EIS: My Review

I must understand the process first

The Washington State Environmental Policy Act (“SEPA”) and the Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) are just a little difficult to grasp for Tacoma Community People’s resulting benefits received back from these review process(s)–SEPA and EIS?

We will never know what difference any public comments made to influence the Tacoma Methanol Plant SEPA EIS process; unless we–the public–are allowed to read all of them.

I’m still not sure I understand the benefit of these public comments submitted. Seems-to-me the SEPA EIS decision makers have the final say as just what is necessary for our Tacoma Community SEPA EIS study finding. See, John Sherman, How It Works: Tacoma Methanol Plant Environmental Impact Stuff (Jan. 26, 2016) (revised, footnote ed., added content), (WordPress pdf file t20160126a) online at https://johnesherman.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/t20160126a2.pdf (visited Jan. 26, 2016).

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Published Jan. 26, 2016 : Revised ed. :: 0705 PST

Industry: Chemicals: Community Knows What When?

Communities have potential hazards, people must know

in my community, Tacoma Wash., under review is a methane-to-methanol industrial plant proposed to be constructed here then operated and it will become the biggest methane-to-methanol operating plant in the world once built and processing methane (natural gas).

Likewise, I have an interest in the potential people hazards to me and other people within my Tacoma Community. Therefore, I must promote the U.S. EPA to do its environmental hazards review for my Community and all other U.S. Communities; as a result, publish all hazards discovered to all people within every effected Community. No exceptions.

See, John Sherman, Hazards: Chemicals: Who Will You Tell Just Wehn? Why?, (Jan. 23, 2016) (pdf document) online at https://johnesherman.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/t20160123a.pdf or http://bit.ly/1OFf13n (visited Jan. 23, 2016).

let’s hope that the U.S. EPA does take an active environmental review of the proposed methane-to-methanol plant operating hazards and publishes each hazard discovered as discovered.

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Published Jan. 23, 2016:1030 PST

Environmental process: policy created rule

The U.S. Environmental Policy First

Even though, we have had rules how the U.S. Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) is applied today; but there exists the background policy that first created U.S. environmental oversight; let’s not forget what was intended by the early policy writers.

See generally, John E. Sherman, First, Environmental Policy then Rules Aligned with Policy, (Jan. 19, 2016) (pdf document) online at https://johnesherman.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/t20160119a.pdf (visited Jan. 19, 2016).

Local governments clearly cannot allow industrial facilities to be situated within urban areas, regardless of the evolution of land use over time. Industry and government need to bring proper financial support to local communities so they can provide medical and other necessary services to reduce morbidity, mortality and material loss in the case of industrial accidents.[supra, at 1, n. 3 Lessons Learned]

For this reason, when a community EIS is undertaken all surrounding hazard(s) must be considered with written published public analysis EIS report results. For two reasons, (1) So interested and effected persons may review the completeness of the EIS hazards study report; and (2) The community (people) may use the EIS report; as a result, to benchmark their specific environmental hazards and risks concerns as allowed and promoted by Citizens guide to the NEPA[See, supra, n. 6]

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Published Tue., Jan. 19, 2016 : 1445 PST

Let’s review our right to know -v- methanol

Community Right-to-Know sounds logical

On the other hand, does anybody really want the community (people, stakeholders) to understand what hazards are potential within their communities?

See, Sherman, John, Tacoma People Have Access Rights: Read the Planning Plans: How to Mitigate Community Industrial Accidents, (Jan. 17, 2016) (WordPress pdf file t20160117b) online at https://johnesherman.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/t20160117b.pdf (visited Jan. 17, 2016).

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Published Jan. 17, 2016 1444 PST Tacoma WA

Natural gas, the burn

We don’t need more natural fuels burned, I think this

When I consider new natural gas (methane) processing facilities within my community Tacoma City, Port of Tacoma, I don’t think it’s a great ideal to allow more natural gas processes that can contribute additional chemicals to our current airborne chemicals inventory in Tacoma.

I still maintain the thinking: The Tacoma community right-to-know about all risks proposed to be operated within their Tacoma community, not find out the hazard analysis was never done and made into a published public and available document.

Natural gas released

Natural gas (mathane gas) is not a problem when held captive underground but when we extract, process, added to airborne inventory, or com busted (burn) it; as a result, new considerations by the community (people) must be evaluated.

CONCLUSION The climate implications associated with the production and use of natural gas differ from other fossil fuels (coal and oil). Natural gas combustion yields considerably lower emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants; however, when methane is released directly into the atmosphere without being burned through accidental leakage or intentional venting is about 21 times more powerful as a heat trapping greenhouse gas than CO2 when considered on a 100-year time scale. As a result, considerable effort is underway to accurately measure methane emission and leakage. Policy-makers should continue to engage all stakeholders in a fact-based discussion regarding the quantity and quality of available emissions data and what steps can be taken to improve these data and accurately reflect the carbon footprint of all segments of the natural gas industry. To that end, additional field testing should be performed to gather up-to-date, accurate data on methane emissions. Policy-makers have begun to create regulations that address methane releases, but a better understanding and more accurate measurement of the emissions from natural gas production and use could potentially identify additional cost-effective opportunities for emissions reductions along the entire natural gas value chain. [1, §3, at 24]

Vehicles and alternate fuels

Alternative fuel and fuel economy legislation

What rules (legislation) has been created for the alternate fuel(s) public use?

Summaries of selected sections of federal legislation related to alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies: [3]

  • Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014;
  • American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012;
  • Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthoization, and Job
  • Creation Act of 2010;
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009;
  • Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008;
  • Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007;
  • Energy Policy Act in 2005;
  • Energy Policy Act of 1992;
  • Surface Transportation Acts;
  • Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990;
  • Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988; and
  • Clean Air Act of 1970.

Energy Policy Act of 1992 supports natural gas use as an alternate fuel; for example, “EPAct 1992 encourages the use of alternative fuels through both regulatory and voluntary activities and approaches the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) carries out. It requires federal, state, and alternative fuel provider fleets to acquire alternative fuel vehicles. EPAct 1992 also defines “alternative fuels” as: methanol, ethanol, and other alcohols; blends of 85% or more of alcohol with gasoline (E85); natural gas and liquid fuels domestically produced from natural gas; propane; . . .” [3] I am not sure we the public community had any input into these legislation rules content as created or community review of the facts that support these alternate fuel rules as we read them today?

Vehicle combustion airborne inventory

Just maybe, maybe the stuff from the tailpipe of our vehicles might not be as good as we have be lead by other for us to believe; since:

German journal Angewandte Chemie, chemists from Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Labs in Livermore, CA, along with German and Chinese collaborators, summarize a series of recent studies examining what exactly is coming out a biofuel tailpipe. They found that while biofuel combustion produces many of the same chemicals released during fossil fuel burning, it also generates a complicated mixture of additional chemicals that are potentially harmful to humans and the environment. [4]

Our internal combustion vehicle engines create airborne chemical to add to existing air inventory of chimerical; for example, see

Sources of emissions: Industry sources: The use of acetaldehyde is widespread in industry, and it may be released into waste water or the air during production, use, transportation and storage. Sources of acetaldehyde include fuel combustion emissions from stationary internal combustion engines and power plants that burn fossil fuels, wood, or trash, oil and gas extraction, refineries, cement kilns, lumber and wood mills and paper mills. [5}]

Gas burned

Burning natural gas still creates CO2 and other chemicals that added to our community airborne chemical(s) inventory . I don’t think we should add additional burning byproducts to the air—“The emissions from natural gas-fired boilers and furnaces include nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), trace amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (PM)”[2, §1.4.3 Emissions]

See, Table 1.4-2. Emission factors for criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases from natural gas combustion, [2] (emission factors).

Natural gas is one of the major combustion fuels used throughout the country. It is mainly used to generate industrial and utility electric power, produce industrial process steam and heat, and heat residential and commercial space. Natural gas consists of a high percentage of methane (generally above 85 percent) and varying amounts of ethane, propane, butane, and inerts (typically nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and helium). The average gross heating value of natural gas is approximately 1,020 British thermal units per standard cubic foot (Btu/scf), usually varying from 950 to 1,050 Btu/scf. [2, §1.4.1 General]

Reference

[1] Technology: Leveraging Natural Gas to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions) (leveraging-natural-gas-reduce-ghg-emissions.pdf) (Jun. 2013), online at http://www.c2es.org/publications/leveraging-natural-gas-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions (visited Jan. 10, 2016).

[2] U.S. EPA, Natural Gas Combustion, (ed. 1998) (org. MS Word C01S04.docx) (pdf created may 14, 2014), online at http://www3.epa.gov/ttnchie1/ap42/ch01/final/c01s04.pdf (visited Jan. 10, 2016).

[3] U.S. Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels Data Center: Key Federal Legislation, (The AFDC is a resource of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program) (ed. Jun. , 2014) (federal legislation related to alternative fuels and vehicles, air quality, fuel efficiency, and other transportation topics), online at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/key_legislation (visited Jan. 10, 2016).

[4] Guest Writer, New Questions about Toxic By-Products of Biofuel Combustion, (InsideClimate News) (Jun 9, 2010) (Study finds spectrum of possible chemicals emerging from biofuel burning process, including formaldehyde.) online at http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20100609/new-questions-about-toxic-products-biofuel-combustion see also, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.200905335/abstract (visited Jan. 10, 2016).

[5] Australia Government, National Pollutant Inventory: Acetaldehyde, (National Pollutant Inventory: Department of the Environment: GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia 1800 803 772 ABN) (n.d.), online at http://www.npi.gov.au/resource/acetaldehyde (visited Jan.10, 2016).

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Natural gas, financial incentive

Natural gas cost forecast

Prohibiting or restricting LNG trade not only is contrary to international norms agreed in the WTO but also destroys value in the United States by creating artificially low prices for domestic consumption of natural gas.(1, at 4)

I think that this is funny logic; for example, “[C]reating artificially low prices for domestic consumption of natural gas.” is great for United States natural gas consumers! Low energy price, low wages, go together well.

I need to support natural gas, just why?

Those who sell gas might just have an economic incentive to export.

US natural gas producers are eager to take advantage of tremendous price differentials between the United States and foreign markets. US prices are around $3 per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu), while prices in Europe are $11 to $13 per mmBtu and as high as $18 per mmBtu in Southeast Asia. Even considering the cost of liquefaction and ocean transportation at $3.50 to $9.00 per mmBtu, producers can export LNG and earn a signifi cant profi t over domestic sales.(1, at 2)

Our U.S. energy price rise to what?

US natural gas producers are eager to take advantage of tremendous price differentials between the United States and foreign markets. (1, at 3)

If we set-aside the for profit motivation for export sales of natural gas resources, but what remains is the community—my community— right-to-know about the specific hazards and areas of hazards introduced into my Tacoma City, Port of Tacoma, Washington USA community?

We need an explanation why; for example, “[S]ome natural resources—particularly petroleum and hard minerals—are unevenly distributed across the globe. Geographic concentration of production can encourage the formation of cartels that seek to lift prices above competitive norms.”(1, at 4) is really bad for our local community energy (natural gas) ratepayer’s cost?

We in Tacoma Washington USA don’t need to race-to-the-bottom with our wages while energy prices are negotiated on a world commodity market.

I think this

No natural gas plants should be designed or constructed or operated within my Tacoma Washington community without first: A written and public published hazard analysis study related to each natural gas conversion process or natural gas distribution system located within my Tacoma City community and the public potential hazards (life and property) described and areas of hazards!

We should never permit a natural gas customer’s ratepayers’ price to become bench-marked price by a exported price received for U.S. natural gas resource. I consider this thought should apply to NG, CNG, LNG, and Natural gas to methanol.

Works cited

(1) Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Allie E. Bagnall, and Julia Muir, Policy Brief: Liquefied Natural Gas Exports: An Opportunity for America, (NUMBER PB13-6) (Feb. 2013) (Peterson Institute for International Economics), (“Gary Clyde Hufbauer is the Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Allie E. Bagnall and Julia Muir are research analysts at the Peterson Institute.”) online at https://www.piie.com/publications/pb/pb13-6.pdf (visited Jan. 7, 2016).

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Useful LNG information

Where are LNG facilities located

i2016-01-02_7-57-48Where are LNG facilities located?

See,North American LNG Import/Export Terminals Existing, (Oct. 20, 2015), available at https://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/indus-act/lng/lng-existing.pdf

Status of LNG facilities everywhere

On-Stream under Construction Planned Proposed/under Study, (Global LNG Limited) (Nov. 2015), available at http://www.globallnginfo.com/world%20lng%20plants%20&%20terminals.pdf

The LNG planning just missing community people’s notice!

Stuff happens. The community is excluded from knowing about LNG stuff. See, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Oregon LNG and Washington Expansion Projects, (Draft: Environmental Impact Statement Environmental Impact Statement, vol. 1) (FERC/DEIS-0261D DOE Docket No. FE 12-48-LNG) (Aug. 2015) online at http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/08/f25/EIS-0492-DEIS-2015.pdf (visited Jan. 3, 2016).

Which operates first methanol or LNG plants because:

Just thinking, if a natural gas ("NG") to methanol ("NGM") conversion plant is consider for construction and operation should it be constructed within a hazard radius determined for catastrophic potential accident harm radius?

Here again, were just missing the community right-to-know risk analysis detailed reports for both LNG, NG, and NGM plant and piping system within Port of Tacoma Washingtion State.

Words written about LNG

Accidents and rules citations. See generally, Appendix C3 C3-1 Chronological List of LNG Accidents C3-2 Marine Safety and Security Requirements C3-3 Design and Safety Standards Applicable to Natural Gas Projects, (http://citizensagainstlng.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Cabrillo-Port-EIR-Appendix-C3_List-of-LNG-Accidents.pdf 2007) or http://bit.ly/1RWNY71

History. See also, Tim Riley, LNG danger to our communities | Fracking gas for LNG Exportation | safety risks of LNG Exportation & LNG importation | safety risks of LNG transportation | safety risks of LNG storage, (2004), http://www.timrileylaw.com/LNG.htm.

Study. See generally, What is the safety record of the LNG industry?, Center for Energy
Economics (Oct. 1979), http://www.beg.utexas.edu/energyecon/lng/LNG_introduction_10.php

dodge-lng4

It’s Safe, see. See, Edward Dodge, How dangerous is LNG? (Breaking Energy Dec. 22, 2014) (photo cite supra) online at http://breakingenergy.com/2014/12/22/how-dangerous-is-lng/

Looking back, let’s think about LNG. See generally, Chesapeake Climate Action Network et al., In Light of Washington LNG explosion, community demands answers to cove point export terminal concerns, Aggregated (EcoWatch Apr. 7, 2014), http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/07/after-lng-explosion-community-cove-point-export-concerns/

Understanding LNG

Philip Weems And Harry Sullivan, Lng overview lng overview: International Energy Law, Contracts, and Negotiations 2005, (n.d.) (what is lng? presented is: (1) not lpg or ngl (2) natural gas that has been cooled until it liquefies (-160°c) (3) volume is reduced 600 times (4) lighter than air when vaporized (5) not under pressure (6) colorless, odorless and non-toxic (7) stored cold (8) can be heated and vaporized again when needed), online at http://www.kslaw.com/library/pdf/2005shortcourse.pdf (last visited Jan. 3, 2016).

LNG insurance

See generally, POTENTIAL LIABILITIES FOR CASUALTIES IN LNG SHIPPING CASUALTIES IN LNG SHIPPING SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL GAS TANKER AND TERMINAL OPERATORS 46 Th Panel Meeting San Francisco, (Society Of International Gas Tanker And Terminal Operators), (Apr. 21, 2004), http://www.kslaw.com/library/pdf/weems_lng.pdf

See also, Washington LNG blast spotlights natural gas safety, (Apr. 7, 2014), online at http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2014/04/07/325643.htm (last visited Jan. 3, 2016) ("Stephen Maloney, a senior risk consultant at Moody’s Analytics with a background in LNG risk analysis, said the Washington incident could trigger a review of the risks posed by LNG facilities, including a fresh look at the probable frequency of accidents. Companies and regulators use risk models when considering permitting projects.").

Older review of LNG

Philip Weinberg, Cargo of Fire: A Call for Stricter Regulation of Liquefied Natural Gas Shipment and Storage, 4 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1975 (1975), online at http://bit.ly/1StHXxS

See also, Philip Weinberg, Cargo of Fire: A Call for Stricter Regulation of Liquefied Natural Gas Shipment and Storage, 4 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1975 (Vol. 4, Issue 3 (1975) Art. 2), online at http://bit.ly/1RjjydK (visited Jan. 3, 2016).

LNG Requirements

Requirements. See, U.S. Department of Transportation: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials: Safety Administration, LNG Plant Requirements: Frequently Asked Questions, (Pipeline technical resources) (Revised, Dec. 7, 2015), ("H5. Can an exclusion zone extend beyond the operator’s LNG plant property line? As long as the facility is in operation, the operator is responsible for assuring compliance with the limitations on land use within exclusion zones, according to the descriptions in NFPA 59A . . . . For example, an exclusion zone that extends past a property line into a navigable body of water or onto a public road is typically acceptable. This may not hold true if that body of water contains a dock or pier that is not controlled by the operator of the LNG plant, or if another entity could erect a building or members of the public could assemble within the exclusion zone. It is possible to assure compliance by legal agreement with a property owner affected by the exclusion zone, such that the land use is restricted for the life of the LNG plant.") available at http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/lng/faqs.htm

Keep reading for LNG risk understanding

Absent LNG accident a hazard does not exist; but with accident; hence just how expansive is the actual damage to life and property? The average community (people, just like me) would like to see the risk analysis written study that follows the Community Right-to-Know Act disclosure community knowledge benefit.

My home in community shared with LNG

Since my home is within Pierce County Tacoma City neighborhood, if a LNG accident and my home or property is damaged who pays to fix all the damage and cost caused by any LNG, NG, LPG, NG-to-Methanol plant accident?

Thomas Zuo, Home insurance and explosions, (Home Insurance.org (n.d.)), online at http://www.homeinsurance.org/home-insurance-and-explosions/ (visited Jan. 3, 2016).

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LNG Permits: No interest in community interests

How does a typical LNG export permit work?

Let’s take a look at a typical example; for example, Order conditionally granting long-term, multi-contract authorizations to export liquefied natural gas by vessel from the proposed Alaska LNG terminal in Niskiski, Alaska, to non-free Trade Agreement Nations, (collectively, “LNG permit”)1

LNG permit process sounds good for the community and public goods when considering a LNG facitlity and a LNG export facility but is the process really that comprehensive and inclusive of community people input response?

Just a typical LNG permit process presents

I think the LNG permit process is deficient for the public input to make a difference e.g.,

[N]o person shall export any natural gas from the United States to a foreign country or import any natural gas from a foreign country without first having secured an order of the [Secretary of Energy [n. 61] 6 ] authorizing it to do so. The [Secretary] shall issue such order upon application, unless after opportunity for hearing, [he] finds that the proposed exportation or importation will not be consistent with the public interest. The [Secretary] may by [the Secretary’s] order grant such application, in whole or part, with such modification and upon such terms and conditions as the [Secretary] may find necessary or appropriate.

(§ 3(a) Public Interest Standard 1, at 3, (alteration in original)).

Let’s take a look at words

While section 3(a) establishes a broad public interest standard and a presumption favoring export authorizations, the statute does not define "public interest" or identify criteria that must be considered. In prior decisions, however, DOE/FE has identified a range of factors that it evaluates when reviewing an application for export authorization. These factors include economic impacts, international impacts, security of natural gas supply, and environmental impacts, among others. . . .

(§ 3(a) Public Interest Standard 1, at 3, (emphasis added)).

Missing is community right-to-know safety study results or reports required. Our communities have the right-to-know what hazards potential are constructed and operated within our community (people, residential, housing, living, transportation areas)!

How is my community input appreciated?

Reading this actual LNG permit, I fail to see weighting of the community (people) inputs or concerns to any meaningful decision factor in granting this LNG permit.

Therefore, this might just be a same or similar process used at Pierce County, Tacoma, Port of Tacoma, Washington for a future LNG application for an export permit? So, the community should be aware how the public input process works for evaluation of their input into all LNG application permit(s) everywhere.

Works cited

(1) Yousef Rahman, ORDER CONDITIONALLY GRANTING LONG-TERM, MULTI-CONTRACT AUTHORIZATION TO EXPORT LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS BY VESSEL FROM THE PROPOSED ALASKA LNG TERMINAL IN NIKISKI, ALASKA, TO NON-FREE TRADE AGREEMENT NATIONS, FE DOCKET NO. 14–96-LNG (United States Of America Department Of Energy Office Of Fossil Energy 2015), http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/05/f22/ord3643.pdf or http://1.usa.gov/1R1XtSi

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Legal courts consider what

You want to know what legal system is doing. Pay your money first!

You can read the details after your pay your money to read what general government should already be providing to interested and effected persons of any Superior Court’s jurisdiction of people.

2015-12-26_14-10-24

Pierce County, Case information and scheduling, (Dec. 26 2015), https://linxonline.co.pierce.wa.us/linxweb/Case/CaseFiling/filingCopies.cfm?cn=15-2-14604-7&ct=CIVI

You pay then you can read details

Just another example, justice conducted behind the fog of money first

I think, absent my reading the courts documents, is a motion to resolve LNG facility(s) proposed for Tacoma City, Port of Tacoma: Puyallup Tribe of Indians v. City of Tacoma, Pierce County Wash. Sup. Ct. (2015 Civ.) 15-2-14604-7 (Land Use Petition (LUPA) ).

We Pierce County Taxpayers pay

The court(s) should not be charging Pierce County Taxpayer for the courts system documents that they already support with money and this is especially true for public health and environmental issues that affect and effect our communities that we collectively support to exist—government and courts.

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