Determination of Significance, Notice of Request for EIS Scoping Comments

Determination of Significance, Notice of Request for EIS Scoping Comments and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting Proponent: Puget Sound Energy, Inc. Project Name: Tacoma LNG Project Location of Proposal: Blair-Hylebos Peninsula/Port of Tacoma: 901 and 1001 Alexander Avenue East; 3533 E. 11th Street, Tacoma WA 98421 Cities of Tacoma, Fife, and unincorporated Pierce County: see attached map (also at, under "PSE Proposed Tideflats LNG Facility") SEPA Lead Agency: City of Tacoma File No. SEP2014-40000230810 Project Description: Puget Sound Energy, Inc., (PSE) intends to develop a natural gas liquefaction and storage facility in the City of Tacoma ("Tacoma" or "City"), the objectives of which are to meet its customers' gas demands and to provide a cleanerburning fuel that meets or exceeds applicable regional, state and federal air standards. The Tacoma LNG Facility is proposed for a 33-acre site on the Blair-Hylebos Peninsula in the Port of Tacoma, an area designated for redevelopment following the Port of Tacoma's preparation of a Final Environmental Impact Statement in 2009 ("2009 FEIS"). The facility would chill approximately 250,000 gallons of natural gas into liquefied natural gas ("LNG") daily for use as a reducedemissions fuel for marine vessels and land-based vehicles, as well as for utility peak shaving during periods of high demand. A single 8-million gallon, nonpressurized full-containment LNG storage tank consisting of an inner nickelsteel tank and an outer concrete tank with interstitial insulation, would be located on the site. The facility would include infrastructure for loading marine vessels and/or bunker barges with LNG. An existing pier on the Hylebos waterway will be replaced and a new fueling platform and mooring dolphins will be installed on the Blair waterway. The facility will be built to the nation's most current safety standards for this type of facility. The liquefaction facility would receive natural gas from PSE's existing natural gas pipeline distribution system. Two new segments would be added to the distribution system to serve the facility an approximately 1mile distribution pipeline in unincorporated Pierce County that will connect two existing distribution lines, and an approximately 4-mile distribution pipeline that will extend from the City of Fife into Tacoma to reach the Tacoma LNG Facility. The proposed distribution system improvements would include one new limit station and modifications to one existing gate station, both of which would be located in unincorporated Pierce County. Determination of Significance: PSE has agreed to the issuance of a Determination of Significance as the SEPA Threshold Determination in order to initiate SEPA scoping for an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for the Tacoma LNG Project. The EIS is not a substitute for permit review. It is a process that develops information that is used to support permit review and development of recommended mitigation measures related to potential impacts associated with matters such as transportation, fire, health and safety. Key permits for this project include the City of Tacoma Shoreline Substantial Development Permit, Pierce County Conditional Use Permit, Department of Ecology Water Quality Certification and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Sections 10 and 404 permits. Scoping: Consistent with TMC Chapter 13.12, the City of Tacoma, as SEPA lead agency, is initiating a 30day scoping process beginning September 12, 2014 and ending on October 13, 2014to narrow the scope of the EIS. The Tacoma LNG Project EIS will discuss the probable significant adverse impacts of the proposed action, the no-action alternative, and alternatives that are capable of attaining the proposal's objectives stated above. The programmatic 2009 FEIS is proposed for incorporation by reference under WAC 197-11-600(4)(b) to provide, where useful, additional information and analysis in preparation of the proposaland site-specific Tacoma LNG Project EIS. The City has determined that Environmental Health and Safety ("EH&S") will be areas of emphasis in the EIS. An integral part of the EH&S reviews will be assessment of Emergency Response/Intelligent Transportation Systems ("ER/ITS") resources and constraints in the area of the facility within the Tacoma tideflats. PSE has contributed funds toward the cost of the City's ER/ITS study slated for completion in 2014. Links to the 2009 FEIS and the ER/ITS study can be found at the City of Tacoma website at In addition to the foregoing topics, agencies, affected tribes, and members of the public are invited to comment on the scope of this proposed EIS. You may comment on alternatives, proposed mitigation measures, probable significant adverse impacts, permits, licenses and/or other approvals that may be required. The City will use the scoping comments to define the topics to be examined closely in the project EIS. Methods for presenting your comments are described below. All comments are due no later than 5 p.m. on October 13, 2014. * EIS Public Scoping Meeting An EIS Public Scoping Meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at the Fabulich Center, Room 104, 3600 Port of Tacoma Road, Tacoma, WA 98421. The purpose of the public scoping meeting is to provide information about the proposed project and to provide an opportunity to comment on the scope of the proposed EIS. Written comments will be accepted at this meeting (comment forms will be available) which will be entered in the proposal's environmental review record as scoping comments. Additional information may be found at * Submittal of written comments Written comments may be submitted via mail, e-mail or fax to the City's Project Manager, as follows Project Manager: Shirley Schultz, Principal Planner Address: City of Tacoma Planning & Development Services Department 747 Market Street, Suite 345 Tacoma, WA 98402 E-mail: Phone #: (253) 591-5121 Fax #: (253) 591-5433 Responsible Official: The Responsible Official is the designated person within the City of Tacoma's Planning & Development Services Department who is responsible for compliance with the SEPA lead agency procedural responsibilities. Issuance Date: September 12, 2014 Peter Huffman, Planning & Development Services Director SEPA Responsible Official The City of Tacoma does not discriminate on the basis of disability in any of its programs, activities, or services. To request this information in an alternative format or a reasonable accommodation, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 253.591.5505. TTY or speech-to-speech users please dial 711 to connect to Washington Relay Services. Tacoma Daily Index Publication: September 12, 2014 and September 19, 2014