AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Bergstrom International Airport announced Wednesday it will pause some of its future jet fuel storage expansion efforts to help allow for further environmental assessments before certain programs are approved.
Jacqueline Yaft, CEO of AUS, said in the memo the airport is “committed to limiting the current expansion of the new Jet-A fuel storage facility.” Phase 1 of the development, which will add two storage tanks at the new fuel facility location, will continue as planned. However, any expansion efforts beyond Phase 1 “will require a new Environmental Assessment process,” including community feedback, the memo added.
During an April work session with Austin City Council, AUS had outlined a two-phase jet fuel development plan. On April 7, Austin City Council voted in favor of beginning construction on the new fuel facility.
Phase 1 will add two additional fuel tanks to AUS’ current two-tank supply, doubling the amount of available fuel for facility operations.
Phase 2 — which will now require additional environmental assessments and input before it’s approved — was described as a 15-to-20-year long-range plan that would have four tanks fed into AUS’ airport fuel supply. Under that longer-term proposal, one residence was estimated to be within 500 feet of that expansion, with 27 additional residences located between 700 feet and 2,000 feet of the proposed tanks.
In the memo, Yaft said AUS is looking into possible mitigation options for residences located near the new fuel facility, taking into account factors like “possible voluntary property buyouts as appropriate by other than the Airport, available funding, reimbursement sources, proximity, individual site and total costs, regulations and laws, precedents and prioritization.”
Yaft said airport officials will update Austin City Council on possible mitigation options once more information has been gathered.