License Application SPOT Project
Proposed Action Deepwater Port Act
and Licensing Process NEPA Process for
Deepwater Port Applications Deepwater Port
Record of Decision,
and Post Licensing
Sea Port Oil Terminal License Application
On January 31, 2019, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) received an application from SPOT Terminal Services LLC (Applicant) seeking a Federal license under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (DWPA), as amended, to own, construct, operate, and eventually decommission the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT) Project (Project), a deepwater port, for the export of crude oil to the global market.
The Applicant is proposing the SPOT Project in the Gulf of Mexico to export domestically produced crude oil. Use of the deepwater port would include the loading of various grades of crude oil at flow rates of up to 85,000 barrels per hour. The SPOT deepwater port would allow for up to two (2) very large crude carriers (VLCCs) or other crude oil carriers to moor at single point mooring buoys and connect with the deepwater port via floating connecting crude oil hoses and floating vapor recovery hoses. The maximum frequency of loading VLCCs or other crude oil carriers would be 2 million barrels per day, 365 days per year.
The information repository planned for the SPOT Project will be the Federal Docket Management System (https://www.regulations.gov/docket/MARAD-2019-0011). Copies of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Supplemental Draft EIS are available online and copies of the Final EIS will be made available online and at local information repositories in the Freeport and Lake Jackson, Texas areas, including the following:
Freeport Branch Public Library
410 N Brazosport Blvd, Freeport, TX 77541
Lake Jackson Branch Public Library
250 Circle Way St, Lake Jackson, TX 77566
Sea Port Oil Terminal Project Proposed Action
In accordance with the Deepwater Port Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and applicable regulations, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) have prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Proposed Action.
MARAD may approve, approve with conditions, or deny the license for the proposed SPOT Project. The EIS will assist the Maritime Administrator in deciding whether to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the license for the Proposed Action.
Deepwater Port Action and Licensing Process
The Deepwater Port Act establishes a licensing system for ownership, construction, operation, and eventual decommissioning of deepwater ports located beyond the seaward boundaries of a State that are used to import or export oil or natural gas to or from the U.S. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is responsible for licensing deepwater ports. The licensing process mandates compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
NEPA Process for Deepwater Port Applications
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was passed in 1969 and has two major objectives:
- To ensure that Federal agencies consider the potential environmental effects of proposed programs, projects, and actions before initiating them.
- To inform the public and to encourage and facilitate public involvement in Federal agency activities that may affect the quality of the human environment.
Guidelines for Federal agencies to implement NEPA were established in regulations by the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in 40 CFR § 1500-1508. In addition, the Maritime Administration and the United States Coast Guard has issued implementing procedures and policy for considering environmental impacts under NEPA and related laws.
Documents prepared under NEPA can include a Categorical Exclusion, an Environmental Assessment, or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). When a Proposed Action has the potential for significant impacts on the quality of the human environment, an EIS, the most detailed analysis conducted under NEPA, is prepared.
Deepwater Port Record of Decision, License Conditions, and Post Licensing Requirements
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issues a Record of Decision for each deepwater port license application. MARAD’s decision to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the license will be based on the nine criteria contained in Section l 503(c) of the Deepwater Port Act.