What conclusion did FERC reach in its final Environmental Impact Statement?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) final environmental impact statement (FEIS), issued in December 2016, concluded that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the company and FERC. The FEIS contained additional mitigation measures the company must follow, as well as other minor route alternative recommendations.

 

 

Who decides if the pipeline project gets built?

Interstate natural gas pipelines are regulated by FERC. The Commission requires operators like Williams to obtain a federal Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity – in addition to various state permits – before any pipeline facilities can be built.

How long does the regulatory process take?

The time required for federal review and pipeline construction varies depending on the size of the pipeline project. For the Atlantic Sunrise Project, Williams filed an application with FERC on March 31, 2015. The application was approved by FERC in February 2017. Pennsylvania construction began in September 2017.

Can I see all the information provided to FERC for the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline?

The FERC application process has been designed with transparency as its cornerstone. All information provided to FERC by the applicant is part of the public record and available for public inspection. The only information that is not viewable by the public is data that have been designated by FERC as sensitive for national security or privacy reasons. You can search for info on the FERC website by referencing the project’s docket number: CP15-138.

Who makes up FERC?

FERC is composed of five commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. Commissioners serve five-year terms, and have an equal vote on regulatory matters. To avoid any undue political influence or pressure, no more than three commissioners may belong to the same political party.

Is the FERC pre-filing process voluntary?

We voluntarily enter the pre-filing process because we recognize it has tremendous value in helping us identify potential issues associated with siting new pipeline infrastructure. By working with stakeholders as part of the pre-filing process, the application we file with the FERC is more complete than if we were to file an application without the valuable information we gather during pre-filing. At the end of the day, our goal is to file an application that reflects the best possible route by minimizing environmental impacts. The pre-filing process is critical in helping us accomplish that objective.

What does the FERC 7(c) application include?

Among other things, the Certificate Application contains a description of the new facilities, need for the project, detailed maps, schedules, and various environmental reports. This information details the various studies and analyses that have been conducted to determine what effect construction and operation could potentially have on the environment and community.