The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead federal agency responsible for ensuring the development of safe, reliable, secure and efficient natural gas infrastructure.
The FERC approval process involves a detailed review of the proposed design of the facility to ensure a high level of safety and a review of any environmental and community impacts.
FERC Review Process
Under section 7 of the Natural Gas Act, the Commission reviews applications for the construction and operation of natural gas pipelines. In its application review, the Commission ensures that the applicant has certified that it will comply with Department of Transportation safety standards. The Commission has no jurisdiction over pipeline safety or security, but actively works with other agencies with safety and security responsibilities. To meet the growing demand for natural gas, the Commission must continue to respond quickly when companies propose to expand and construct needed pipelines and related facilities. The Commission has expedited the certification of natural gas pipelines by having Commission staff actively participate in projects that were using the pre-filing process to engage stakeholders in the identification and resolution of stakeholder concerns prior to the filing of a certificate application with the Commission. The staff’s participation and initiative in these efforts will allow for the filing of better certificate applications enabling more efficient and expeditious licensing actions by the Commission.
Pre-Filing Environmental Review Process
A flowchart of the pre-filing environmental review process is illustrated below and can be found on FERC’s website. You may also find further information about the FERC approval process at www.ferc.gov.