PORT ISABEL, TEXAS—One of the three liquefied natural gas (LNG) companies proposing to build an export terminal near Port Isabel has taken a step forward in the regulatory process, and Rio Grande Valley residents now have an opportunity to make sure their interests are represented.
This month Texas LNG, LLC. formally filed their application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency which will make the decision to permit or deny the LNG projects. That set in motion a window during which residents who feel they may suffer direct impacts from the construction and operation of the Texas LNG facility can formally declare themselves by submitting a motion to intervene online with FERC.
According to the FERC website, an individual can become an intervenor if he or she may be “materially affected” by the agency’s decision on a specific project.
For past projects overseen by FERC, intervenors have included nearby residents who are concerned their property may lose value, individuals and businesses whose income might suffer as a result of the project, people who are concerned about impacts to their health, as well as individuals who use adjacent areas for recreation, which may be interrupted or degraded. Concerns about safety are another reason to intervene. Municipalities may also file on behalf of their constituents.
Submitting a motion to intervene does not require an attorney and can be done online at the FERC website. Intervenors simply need to state their position on the Texas LNG export terminal and explain how they may be impacted by the project.
Becoming an intervenor ensures that an individual, business, organization or municipality is kept informed about the Texas LNG export project. It also gives them the right to request a rehearing and grants them legal standing to challenge FERC’s decision in court.
The deadline to file is Thursday, May 5 at 5:00 pm EDT. Intervenors will need to register at ferconline.ferc.gov and refer to the Texas LNG project docket number CP16-116 when they file their motion.
The Save RGV from LNG coalition has posted more information and a short video tutorial that will help RGV residents navigate the FERC website in order to submit their motions to intervene. Their website is saveRGVfromLNG.com ; also, volunteers will be available at the following help sessions: Thursday, April 28, from 5-7pm and Tuesday, May 3, at Paragraphs Book Store on South Padre Island, and on Saturday, April 30, 9-12noon, at the Port Isabel Library. In Brownsville, they will be at Hueso de Fraile on Saturday, April 30 from 3-5pm.
“I live about two miles from the Texas LNG site,” said Edna Goette, Port Isabel resident and Save RGV from LNG member. “I filed a motion to intervene because we’ll be able to see the plant from here—the tanks, the flares, and the lights at night. I think that will definitely impact my property values. I am also concerned that being so close to a massive industrial facility loaded with explosive chemicals, one day I may have to evacuate—or worse.”