Environmental Compliance

We comply with all environmental requirements for a proposed project and are committed to completing projects in full compliance with the conditions set forth in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-approved project Certificate, as well as all project related permits and clearances.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

FERC is the lead regulatory agency that oversees the U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline industry. FERC is responsible for regulating both the construction of natural gas pipeline facilities, including compressor stations, and the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce. For more information regarding FERC, please visit FERC's website.

Companies must file an application with the FERC seeking approval to build or abandon interstate natural gas pipeline facilities, storage facilities, and/or compressor stations. This process ensures a company’s proposed facilities will be in the public interest, including benefits to consumers, compatibility with the environment, and minimization of interference with the public.

We are subject to the requirements of the National Energy Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA is a U.S. environmental law that supports the enhancement and protection of our environment. This law requires that Federal agencies, such as FERC, give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that significantly affects the environment. For more information regarding NEPA, please visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

To comply with NEPA, FERC will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to assess the impact of alternatives to a proposed project. To assist FERC in complying with NEPA, we will generate Recourse Reports detailing survey data taken from all areas of the proposed project site.

A number of environmental aspects are evaluated in an EA or EIS, including, but not limited to:

  • Ground Water
  • Surface Water
  • Endangered Species
  • Historical and Archaeological Sites
  • Soils and Geology
  • Land Use
  • Air Quality

Assessing the environmental impact of a proposed pipeline project, including any potential alternatives for the project, is an integral part of the Application process for a pipeline company and FERC.

FERC Certificate Application Process

The FERC Certificate Application process can span from three months to two years depending on the scope of a project and the type of application filed. It is a detailed process involving several agencies conducting environmental surveys, creating reports, and providing data on the impact of a project. The process includes multiple notices to the public and multiple opportunities for the public to participate.

Below are a few examples of the notices sent to landowners and the comment periods allowed for the public to participate in the Certificate Application process.

FERC Notices & Comment Periods:

Notice of Certificate Application:

After FERC receives a Certificate Application, they will issue a “Notice of Application” to landowners and other environmental agencies informing them of the proposed project. This notice will include a formal comment period allowing landowners and stakeholders the opportunity to provide input on the project described in the Certificate Application.

Notice of Intent to Prepare an EA or EIS:

After the “Notice of Application” comment period ends, FERC will issue a “Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) [or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)]” to landowners and other environmental agencies. This notice will describe the project, the environmental review process, how to participate, and will include a formal comment period allowing landowners and stakeholders the opportunity to provide input on the project.

Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review:

After the “Notice of Intent to Prepare an EA or EIS” is issued, the FERC will issue a “Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review” specifying the date they anticipate issuing the EA or EIS.

Environmental Assessment:

FERC will either issue an EA or an EIS detailing the environmental aspects of the project, including construction and operation of the proposed facilities. The main difference between an EA and an EIS is the level of detail one provides compared to the other; the EIS would only be used in instances of large-scaled projects with greater environmental impact. The EA is most typically used.

The EA or EIS will specify if a public comment period will be allowed and if so, the date by which all comments must be received. FERC will mail copies of the EA or EIS to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners; newspapers and libraries in the project area; and parties to the proceeding.

FERC Order:

After the EA or EIS comment period ends with no objections, FERC will issue an Order granting a pipeline company a Certificate allowing the company to proceed with construction or abandonment activities on their proposed project.

Notices & Resources:

Outreach Goals:

Our outreach effort is a multi-faceted effort designed to include its core values of safety, integrity, innovation, teamwork, accountability and performance. Its goals are to:

  • Create an atmosphere of openness and disclosure of public information
  • Generate an awareness of the project, its purpose, and its value
  • Communicate the vital role we play in transporting natural gas
  • Ensure the community and landowners have ample opportunity to gain project information
  • Provide new and innovative ways to inform and engage stakeholders

Public Resources:

On an ongoing basis, we will utilize our hotline, website, direct mailings, and print media to inform the public of its projects and publicize methods by which the public can receive more information or ask questions.

Landowner Notification:

We make a good faith effort to notify all affected landowners and towns, communities, and local, state, and federal governments and agencies involved in the Project, as required by FERC.

Permitting and Clearances:

We correspond with and comply with the regulations of a number of government agencies with environmental jurisdiction over our projects. Below are a few of the agencies we typically received environmental permits or clearances from:

  • FERC
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • State Historic Preservation Office
  • Commission on Environmental Quality