Environmental assessment for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Big Hill facility storage of commercial crude oil project, Jefferson County, Texas
Description: The Big Hill SPR facility located in Jefferson County, Texas has been a permitted operating crude oil storage site since 1986 with benign environmental impacts. However, Congress has not authorized crude oil purchases for the SPR since 1990, and six storage caverns at Big Hill are underutilized with 70 million barrels of available storage capacity. On February 17, 1999, the Secretary of Energy offered the 70 million barrels of available storage at Big Hill for commercial use. Interested commercial users would enter into storage contracts with DOE, and DOE would receive crude oil in lieu of dollars as rental fees. The site could potentially began to receive commercial oil in May 1999. This Environmental Assessment identified environmental changes that potentially would affect water usage, power usage, and air emissions. However, as the assessment indicates, changes would not occur to a major degree affecting the environment and no long-term short-term, cumulative or irreversible impacts have been identified.
Date: March 1999