Freeport LNG settles with U.S. EPA over safety failures for June 2022 Texas blast

(Reuters) - Freeport LNG, which operates the second-largest U.S. liquefied natural gas export plant in Texas, agreed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to settle safety violations related to a June 2022 blast that caused some $275 MM in damage to the facility.

The consent agreement dated Monday, made public by Freeport LNG in a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday, included a civil penalty of $163,054 for breaking chemical accident prevention rules under the Clean Air Act.

The settlement follows allegations by the EPA that Freeport LNG failed its duty to maintain a safe facility, did not implement recommendations from a 2021 hazard analysis, and failed to punctually update its emergency contact information.

Under the settlement, Freeport LNG neither admitted nor denied the allegations. The incident occurred at its Texas Gulf Coast plant in Quintana, Texas.

Three weeks ago, the FERC approved Freeport LNG's request to return its plant to full operation, after it remained shut for about eight months from June 2022 to February 2023 after a fire.

When operating at full power, the three liquefaction trains at Freeport LNG can turn about 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas into LNG.

One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

On Wednesday, Freeport LNG, which has had several incidents that caused liquefaction trains to trip over the past few months, reported issues with the upstream gas feed at the Texas Gulf Coast facility.

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