Tribes sue Army Corps of Engineers over Moda Midstream license


The Army Corps of Engineers is being sued in federal court over its decision to approve a permit that is key to Moda Midstream’s plan to expand an oil terminal near Ingleside on the Bay.

Lawyers for Indigenous Peoples of the Coastline and the Karankawa Kadla Tribe of the Texas Gulf Coast Argue court documents filed Monday the army corps did not respond to environmental and community concerns when it approved a permit for Moda Midstream in April.

The Houston company plans to expand into an area of ​​undeveloped land that the tribes say is considered sacred to local Indigenous people.

“I am deeply concerned that the expansion of MODA will destroy this sacred land and the artifacts buried therein, forever erasing these pieces of our history and removing these last remnants of my ancestors from Earth,” Love said. Sanchez, co-founder of Indigeneous Peoples of the Coastal Curve and member of the Karankawa Kadla tribe.

A view of Moda Ingleside Energy Center in Ingleside and the Aral, which is a very large crude transporter, on Friday January 25, 2019. Moda Midstream is a liquids terminal and logistics company that provides independent terminal solutions, storage and distribution to refiners, petrochemical manufacturers, distributors and producers of crude oil, condensate, NGLs, refined products and other bulk liquids.

The Ingleside on the Bay Coastal Watch Association is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Moda Midstream, who has not been named as a defendant, declined to comment on the lawsuit on Wednesday.

The company said in a statement that the regulatory review of its license application involved thousands of pages of documentation, as well as contributions from several state and federal regulators, including the Army Corps, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. and Texas Parks and Wildlife.

“We are satisfied that the application review process, which took almost a year and a half, was complete and that the US Army Corps of Engineers license was properly issued,” the statement said.

“We have deep respect for our neighbors and for the Karankawa people. We are committed to an open and comprehensive dialogue with all stakeholders and our local elected officials,” continued the statement from Moda Midstream. “Despite the lawsuit, we will continue our attempts to engage with these organizations.”

Moda Midstream plans to expand its crude oil export terminal near Ingleside on the Bay at the confluence of the Corpus Christi Channel and La Quinta. Its Moda Ingleside Energy Center sits on over 900 acres of land that will allow for future expansion.

Moda is investing between $ 300 million and $ 500 million to make the center a “key energy hub” for crude oil by accommodating very large crude carriers. VLCCs run roughly the length of three football fields and are capable of transporting up to 2 million barrels of crude oil in a single transport.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that the construction and operation associated with the expansion would “have significant impacts on the environment, the surrounding community and the public interest”.

Issuing the permit to Moda Midstream to allow the expansion violates the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Protection Act and violates the CWA, NEPA and the Federal Administration Procedure Act in critical respects, the plantiffs said in their complaint.

“The Army Corps granted MODA a permit to expand its facility without even considering how MODA’s expansion might impact the artifacts on and around McGloin’s Bluff,” Sanchez said. “Without a meaningful and comprehensive consideration of the potential and likely impacts of the project, allowing for expansion is an act of avoidable and intentional erasure.

Chris Ramirez writes about energy, commerce and all things business. Support local coverage like this by checking out our subscription options and specials at

Associated titles

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