Regulatory Process

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) is the agency charged with review and approval of Jordan Cove Energy Project’s LNG terminal and Pacific Connector Gas Company’s associated pipeline (“Jordan Cove Project”). Upon receipt of an application, FERC initiates review of the potential environmental impacts of a proposed project under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). The NEPA process entails substantial public comment periods and results in both a draft environmental impact statement (“EIS”) and a final EIS prior to FERC issuing a final decision on the application.

FERC Phases

Williams-FERC_Pacific Connector

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is the agency that regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity.

FERC Pre-Filing
Before a pipeline company obtains authorization to construct or expand an existing interstate transmission pipeline, the company must first file a detailed project plan with the FERC. This plan is formally called an application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (Certificate Application). The Certificate Application is a comprehensive document that describes the proposed project, its need and potential environmental impacts.

When a pipeline company is ready to begin preparing its Certificate Application, it typically initiates what is known as the FERC pre-filing process. The pre-filing process is designed to encourage involvement by citizens, government entities and other interested parties during the design stage of a proposed project. A copy of the pre-filing application is available at the FERC website: docket number PF17-4.

The following draft documents were submitted to FERC during the pre-filing process for the Jordan Cove Energy Project (JCEP) and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (PCGP).

  • ​Draft documents submitted for the JCEP can be found here.
  • Draft documents submitted for the PCGP can be found here.

As part of this process, the project sponsor hosts a series of public workshops in the areas potentially affected by the proposal. Representatives from FERC normally participate in these meetings as well. FERC may also hold its own public scoping meetings in the project area.

FERC Filing
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.

On September 21, 2017, applications for JCEP and PCGP were submitted to FERC triggering FERC’s formal review of the applications. On September 22, 2017, FERC assigned the following docket numbers: JCEP Docket No. CP-17-495 and PCGP Docket No. CP17-494. The JCEP application can be found here. The PCGP application can be found here. Each of the applications has been assigned a separate docket number as they are subject to separate provisions of the Natural Gas Act.

We currently anticipate FERC issuing a decision on the applications in November of 2018. Information submitted to FERC can be accessed on FERC’s website through its elibrary at https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp under the docket numbers: JCEP Docket No. CP-17-495 and PCGP Docket No. CP17-494.

The following documents have been submitted to FERC for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline.

Application

Resource Report 1

Resource Report 2

Resource Report 3

Resource Report 4

Resource Report 5

Resource Report 6

Resource Report 7

Resource Report 8

Resource Report 9

Resource Report 10

Resource Report 11

Environmental Evaluation
FERC will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) using information included in the Certificate Application, supplemental information that may be provided by the company upon request, information assembled by FERC staff, as well as information provided by state and federal agencies and the public. The evaluation will describe the proposed project and alternatives, as well as identify existing environmental conditions and potential impacts from the project.

If FERC determines that the project is environmentally acceptable – and is satisfied the project is in the public interest – it will issue an Order granting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. FERC issues this document to signify that approval has been granted to build and operate the pipeline.

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