Freeport LNG Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the status of Freeport LNG’s Remedial Work Plan (RWP)?
A1. The operator is submitting the RWP incrementally to PHMSA, as permitted under the August 3, 2022 Consent Agreement and Order executed between PHMSA and the operator. PHMSA is accepting and reviewing portions of the operator’s RWP as they are received. The Consent Agreement and Order can be found here.
Q2. Once the operator submits a request to restart, how long will it take to review?
A2. PHMSA is unable to estimate how long it might take to review such a request. Every case is different and the necessary time to review may vary based on the unique circumstances of the case. When PHMSA receives the operator’s request to restart the facility, we will review it thoroughly with public safety as our top priority. PHMSA has allocated the necessary resources to ensure our oversight efforts are carried out in a timely, efficient, and comprehensive manner.
Q3. Are PHMSA investigators physically present at the site of the incident?
A3. PHMSA inspectors have deployed to the facility on several occasions throughout the course of this incident investigation and will inspect the facility again prior to approving a request to restart.
Q4. Has PHMSA posted Freeport LNG’s Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) on its website?
A4. Yes, PHMSA has posted a redacted copy of the RCFA which the operator submitted to PHMSA on November 1, 2022, in accordance with the August 3, 2022 Consent Agreement and Order. The redacted RCFA, along with a statement about PHMSA’s ongoing review process of the document under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), can be found here.
Q5. What steps does Freeport LNG need to take to restart its facilities?
A5. The August 3, 2022 Consent Agreement and Order has detailed information on the necessary corrective measures the operator must complete prior to a restart of the facility, including a requirement that the operator must receive written approval from PHMSA. PHMSA continues to review various items submitted incrementally by the operator as part of its RWP, in accordance with the Consent Agreement and Order found here. The Federal Energy Regulation Commission has also published the steps the facility has already taken to begin this process (search: CP12-509 and select “issuances”). Freeport LNG must also receive written authorization from FERC before restarting any non-emergency operations in existing facilities, constructing new or modified facilities, and commissioning and placing any facilities back into service. In addition, the United States Coast Guard issued an order (2022-0074), on June 9, 2022, to Freeport LNG suspending all transfer operations to or from any vessel. As of November 22, 2022, this order has not been lifted.
Q6. Will PHMSA change any of its operating regulations to respond to explosions and emergencies like Freeport LNG?
A6. PHMSA's mission is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. PHMSA is continually reviewing all incidents, including the Freeport LNG incident, and updating its regulations and rules, as appropriate, to better protect the American public.