The FERC recently announced revisions made to its June 2020 Order No. 871. This rule protects landowner rights by prohibiting construction of approved natural gas projects while the FERC considers requests for rehearing.
The order asserts that the prohibition on construction applies until the earlier of the following occurs:
the date that a qualifying rehearing request is no longer pending before the FERC
ninety days following the date that a qualifying request for rehearing is considered denied by operation of law
Based on comments received, the FERC has limited the rule to instances in which a request for rehearing raises issues reflecting opposition to project construction, operation, or need. The agency has determined that this compromise addresses the competing interests involved, including those of: 1) stakeholders who may want to raise objections to the FERC’s final decision before permanent harm may occur; and 2) project developers who have an interest in moving forward with construction when they have obtained all necessary permits.
With this order, the FERC aims to meet the following objectives:
adopt a policy of staying its certificate orders (under section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act) subject to a 90-day time limitation or a showing by the pipeline developer that the stay should be lifted
ensure that the construction of needed pipelines is not unnecessarily delayed
fulfill its commitment to safeguard communities, landowners, and the environment
protect the interests of those affected by a new pipeline
provide developers the assurance needed to invest in energy infrastructure
For more information on Order No. 871, contact Benjamin Williams, Deputy Director, Office of External Affairs, by phone at (202) 502-8680 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.