FERC, PHMSA sign agreement to coordinate liquid natural gas project reviews

Published on September 05, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate the siting and safety review of FERC-jurisdictional liquid natural gas (LNG) facilities.

The MOU establishes a framework for coordination between the agencies. Under the MOU, PHMSA will review whether proposed facilities comply with PHMSA safety standards and issue a letter to FERC on its findings. FERC will consider PHMSA’s findings in its decision on whether proposed projects are in the public interest.

“PHMSA’s LNG safety experts are fully prepared to analyze current and future project proposals, evaluate their potential impact on public safety, and reduce barriers to moving these projects forward,” PHMSA Administrator Skip Elliott said.

FERC has also made other efforts to streamline its LNG project review process including adding staff, working with third parties to conduct analyses and construction inspections and switching to electronic issuances of environmental documents. The FERC Office of Energy Projects staff recently issued environmental schedules for 12 LNG export terminal applications pending before the Commission.

“FERC is pleased to collaborate with PHMSA to better leverage each agency’s expertise and to process LNG applications in the safest and most efficient way possible,” FERC Chairman Kevin J. McIntyre said. “I would like to thank DOT Secretary Chao and PHMSA Administrator Elliott for their collaboration and leadership.”