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Know Your Rights When A FERC Pipeline Comes to Your Community

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Most landowners and communities do not realize that they can participate in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) process regarding certificates for natural gas pipelines. If you know and understand the rules, you can have your voice heard. This presentation explains how.

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Know Your Rights When A FERC Pipeline Comes to Your Community

  1. 1. A “Wordle” of FERC’s Pipeline Regulations: Not much role for the public
  2. 2. The Players FERC reviews applications, prepares the EA/EIS and approves certificates for pipelines under the NGA DOT issues and enforces pipeline safety standards. States administer state laws as well as federal programs like CWA, CZMA Counties & munis review & consult on impacts within their boundaries NGOs consult on, and protect interests for which their group was formed Landowners protect property
  3. 3. Preemption Issues: State/Local Action Preemption? State implementing federal program No State, county or muni implementing state/local permit program NO, if compliance is condition of certificate, but YES if action conflicts with certificate or delays pipeline State/local oversight of pipeline post-certificate & enforcement of state law NO, unless enforcement of standard directly conflicts w/certificate provision State siting & zoning laws YES State/local pipeline safety codes or standards YES State eminent domain laws NO if property is < $3000 or if pipeline chooses state court
  4. 4. FERC Pipeline Process Rule # 1: Opportunities for input narrow as parties move through the process.
  5. 5. FERC Pipeline Process Rule #2 : The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  6. 6. FERC Pipeline Process Rule #3: Know the rules and follow them
  7. 7. FERC Pipeline Process Rule #4: Tell your own story...
  8. 8. FERC Pipeline Process Rule #4a: …in your own words.
  9. 9. Which photo is a more  compelling depiction of  potential impacts and  surrounding environment? Notice the number of trees that will be lost through ROW expansion.
  10. 10. FERC Pipeline Process Rule #5: Leverage your resources through technology and collaboration
  11. 11. FERC Pipeline Process Rule #6: Don't Cry Wolf
  12. 12. FERC Pipeline Process Rule #7: Choose Your Battles
  13. 13. FERC Pipeline Process Rule #8: Manage Expectations
  14. 14. Resources for Keeping Track of and Researching the FERC Pipeline Process
  15. 15. e-CFR Online, http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/
  16. 16. Thank You! For more information, contact: Carolyn Elefant Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant 1629 K Street NW Ste. 300 Washington D.C. 20006 202-297-6100