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Alaska LNG Project Final Environmental Impact Statement ROD

The Department of Interior has issued a decision for the Alaska LNG Project, that the National Park Service (NPS) will grant a right-of-way permit for a natural gas pipeline in Denali National Park and Preserve (DNPP) to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC). This action is allowed for by the Denali National Park Improvement Act of 2013. The Act as amended by the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to issue a right-of-way permit for a high-pressure natural gas transmission pipeline in non-wilderness areas within the boundary of DNPP. Per the Act, the NPS may only issue a right-of-way permit consistent with the laws and regulations governing these right-of-way permits in the national park system, and only if the right-of-way is the route through the park with the least adverse environmental effects for DNPP.

The Record of Decision (ROD) announces the NPS's adoption of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The NPS has determined that adverse impacts to the approximately six-mile portion of pipeline within DNPP would not impair park resources, including soils, wetlands, vegetation, wildlife, and noise/soundscape. The proposed construction is very near the existing transportation corridor with similar linear features including a highway and a railroad track. The proposed pipeline would not have population-level effects on park wildlife. Long-term project noise is primarily from infrastructure located outside DNPP and, short-term, intermittent noise would not cause impairment to DNPP soundscape.

The overall Alaska LNG project would transport natural gas for export to foreign markets and provide for in-state gas deliveries, including the potential to supply DNPP and nearby communities with natural gas, although additional infrastructure would be needed to support local use. Natural gas extracted on the North Slope of Alaska would be piped approximately 800 miles to the liquefaction facilities at Nikiski, Alaska.

While the FERC is the lead agency for the Alaska LNG project, under Title 41 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, better known as FAST-41, it was determined there should be one EIS for the project with each federal agency relevant to the project contributing to the EIS development. In a FAST-41 project, each agency will produce a ROD (as necessary). In all, there were nine cooperating federal agencies, including the NPS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.

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