La. Bucket Brigade raises environmental concerns about Venture Global LNG

Production of LNG gas for export has been underway since January.
Production of LNG gas for export has been underway since January.(Bucket Brigade)
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 6:57 PM CDT
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Cameron Parish, LA (KPLC) - Venture Global’s LNG export facility in Cameron Parish is a major driver in the Southwest Louisiana Economy - yet environmentalists are raising concerns.

The Louisiana Bucket Brigade has voiced claims of excessive gas releases and flaring at the facility.

The environmental group says the gas releases are dangerous and preventable, and they question whether the fast-tracked construction may have caused problems.

In the months since Venture Global has been producing liquefied natural gas at its Calcasieu Pass location, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade been scrutinizing the facility with the help of local residents. One of the concerns is flaring.

Bucket Brigade coordinator Jim Hiatt says some flaring was documented by local residents.

“The day that the first ship came along until May 31st, within that four-and-a-half months, they flared at least 91 days. Ninety-one out of 133 days they flared, and it was large, 300-foot flames, many times with smoke. Smoke coming out the end of the flames,” Hiatt said.

While the company says it’s pleased the facility was built in a little more than two years, Hiatt says it’s a concern.

“This facility was built within 29 months, pieced together in a modular fashion, built modularly in Europe, and then assembled here on the coast of Cameron. So, was it built properly? This raises these kinds of questions. Did venture global prioritize the speed over safety?” he said.

John Allaire lives near the facility and is concerned about neotropical birds.

”The 100-foot flare they have on their marine flare, the flames were as high as the flare itself. And the black sooty smoke is unburned hydrocarbons. There is no reporting of lost birds. The birds see the light at night hydrocarbons, and they fly across the flame as they come from central and south America. And when they fly across the flame the heat knocks the birds down and kills them,” said Allaire.

DEQ spokesman Greg Langley has no direct comments about the Bucket Brigade report. He says DEQ issues legal permits and enforces the provisions of those permits, which are designed to be protective of human health and the environment. And he says the agency responds to all complaints they receive.

We called Venture Global for comment but have not heard back. On their website they say the facility represents years of relentless efforts by their team to innovate, design, construct and deliver low-cost, clean LNG to customers here and around the world.

More information about Venture Global’s track record with DEQ can be accessed in the agency’s document database by using the agency interest number 194203.

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