BROWNSVILLE — Texas LNG has moved one step closer to operating a natural gas liquefaction and export terminal on 625 acres on the Brownsville Ship Channel’s north bank.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, issued its final Environmental Impact Statement on Friday for the proposed project.

A view of natural habitat along Texas Highway 48 near Port Isabel. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

“We determined that the construction and operation of the Texas LNG Project would result in adverse environmental impacts,” FERC said in the EIS.

“However, the impacts on the environment from the proposed Project would be reduced to less than significant levels with the implementation of Texas LNG’s proposed impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures and additional measures recommended by FERC staff, with the exception of visual resources.”

While most recreation areas are more than 2 miles from the Texas LNG site, there’s no missing the proposed facility from S.H. 48 and the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.

“In particular, motorists on State Highway 48 and visitors to the nearby recreation areas where two or three LNG Terminals would be visible (including the NWRs, Loma Ecological Preserve, and South Bay Coastal Preserve and South Bay Paddling Trail) would experience a permanent change in the existing view shed during construction and operation of the projects,” the EIS states.

Those two other LNG terminals — Annova and Rio Grande LNG — have the most potential to contribute to the cumulative impacts on visual resources, according to the EIS.

On Oct. 12, FERC issued a draft EIS for Rio Grande LNG and the associated Rio Bravo natural gas pipeline, and on Dec. 14 last year, FERC issued a draft EIS for Annova.

Texas LNG Founder and Chief Operating Officer Langtry Meyer said the company is expecting FERC approval for the project in the next few months.

“We look forward to receiving FERC’s approval in the next few months. The receipt of FERC approval is one of the important steps to allow the project to begin construction and commence LNG production by 2024,” Meyer said in a statement. “This project will bring jobs and investment to Cameron County and deliver clean, safe, abundant Texas natural gas energy to the world.”

The Texas LNG plan would have capacity to export up to 4 million metric tons of LNG per year when fully complete and operational.

Last September, Meyer told The Brownsville Herald that Texas LNG has five potential buyers who are Chinese, two who are in Southeast Asia and one in Western Europe.

“The potential customers include government-owned gas or electric utilities that operate on national or provincial levels,” Meyer said at the time. “Some of the potential customers already have LNG import capacity, others are building such capacity and the rest are acquiring third-party access.”