FERC Requests Comments on Environmental Guidelines for Pipeline Construction

Photo by James T M Towill. Some rights reserved.

FERC may have said it first, but Hogan Lovells said it louder. Or, at least, that’s who I was listening to more closely.

A recently Energy Alert from Hogan Lovells announced FERC’s intent to update two environmental guidance documents that dictate, in Hogan Lovells’ words, “baseline environmental mitigation measures the Commission requires for pipeline certificate applications.” The law firm points out that the updated guidelines will be “of vital importance in certificating the new pipeline construction that is expected in light of changing gas patterns resulting from the development of shale gas.”

The two existing guidance documents – Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan and Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures (collectively, the “Plan and Procedures”) – haven’t been updated since 2003.

FERC is calling all commenters – “from the natural gas industry, federal, state and local agencies, environmental consultants, inspectors, construction contractors, and other interested parties with special expertise with respect to environmental issues commonly associated with pipeline projects” – to submit their input and suggestions for modifications by January 18, 2012. Draft changes to the Plan and Procedures should be available in early 2012 for further public comment.

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