The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is proposing to amend part 157, subpart F, of its regulations to enable natural gas interstate pipeline companies to replace mainline facilities using a route other than the existing right-of-way, and to commence construction without being subject to the 45-day prior notice proceedings specified in § 157.205 of the Commission’s regulations and without project cost constraints, when immediate action is required to restore service in an emergency due to a sudden unanticipated loss of natural gas or capacity in order to prevent loss of life, impairment of health, or damage to property. In addition, the Commission is proposing to revise reporting requirements so that a natural gas company, acting under part 157 in responding to an emergency, would submit a description of its activities to the Commission prospectively, in advance of commencing construction, rather than retrospectively, as is currently the case. An important objective of the proposed rule is the reconciliation of the Commission’s regulatory responsibilities under its enabling statutes and federal environmental and safety laws with the need to protect persons and property.
The Commission requests that comments address the adequacy of the proposed expansion of pipeline companies’ authority under their part 157 blanket certificates in situations where immediate action is necessary to reconstruct interstate pipeline facilities that have been destroyed or compromised by a sudden unanticipated natural event or deliberate effort to disrupt the flow of natural gas or whether there is a need for further action by the Commission or Congress. Comments are due February 27, 2003 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Christin, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6022.
The full text of the proposed rule can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.