FERC wins NEPA lawsuit over gas project

By Niina H. Farah | 05/01/2024 07:06 AM EDT

The D.C. Circuit rejected claims that energy regulators should have expanded their environmental review of the Evangeline Pass project.

FERC headquarters.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission headquarters in Washington. Francis Chung/E&E News

A federal appeals court has struck down an effort to expand the environmental review for upgrades to a pipeline network that feeds into a liquefied natural gas export terminal in southeastern Louisiana.

Tuesday’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a blow for green groups that claimed federal energy regulators should look more holistically at the environmental effects of the Evangeline Pass expansion project, alongside potential harms from the Plaquemines LNG terminal and other projects providing gas to the facility.

Judge Justin Walker, writing the opinion for the court, said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was correct when it determined the expansion project developed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline was not “connected” to the LNG terminal, its associated Gator Express pipeline, or the East Lateral XPress and Venice Extension projects.


Walker, a Trump appointee, said there was “substantial evidence” that each of the projects was “physically and functionally independent” from Evangeline Pass.