FERC Considering Revisions to Pipeline Certificate Policy

Last month, FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry seeking information as it explores revising its policy statement on the certification of new natural gas transportation facilities.  The Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Facilities Statement of Policy that is currently in effect was issued by FERC in 1999.

FERC is specifically asking for feedback on whether (and how) it should adjust:

  • Its methodology for determining whether there is a need for a proposed project;
  • Its use of eminent domain and other issues related to landowner interests;
  • Its evaluation of environmental impacts; and
  • Its certificate processes, including pre-filing, post-filing, and post-order issuance.

FERC points to a variety of changes that have occurred since it issued its currently effective policy, including dramatic increases in natural gas production, flows on pipelines becoming bidirectional or reversing, and a closer relationship between natural gas and electric generation as natural-gas-fired generation becomes more prevalent.  FERC also notes an “increased interest” regarding its evaluation of greenhouse-gas emissions associated with a proposed project, as well as both suggestions to relax and strengthen FERC’s environmental reviews.

FERC recently extended the deadline for comments to July 25, 2018.  Comments may be submitted in FERC Docket No. PL18-1-000.

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