The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the regulatory agency that oversees the U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline industry. The FERC regulates both the construction of natural gas pipeline systems, including compressor stations, and the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce.
Pipeline Companies such as Paiute Pipeline Company (Paiute) wishing to build and operate interstate natural gas pipelines and/or compressor stations must first file an application with the FERC for approval. This is done to assure that pipeline facilities benefit consumers, are compatible with the environment, and minimize interference with the public and landowners along the pipeline rights-of-way.
To obtain information about the FERC's role as a regulator of interstate transmission of natural gas, about getting involved in the regulatory process and to access Citizens' Guides that summarize your rights and the process when dealing with FERC-regulated energy project licensing, visit the FERC's Website at www.ferc.gov and click on the "For Citizens" tab.
Before a pipeline company, like Paiute, obtains authorization to construct an interstate transmission pipeline, it 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.
Pipeline companies typically initiate what is known as the FERC pre-filing process. The pre-filing process is designed to encourage involvement by all stakeholders (citizens, government entities and other interested parties) during the design stage of a proposed project to help identify and resolve issues before an official project application is submitted to the FERC. Paiute entered into the pre-filing process in October 2013. Paiute submitted its formal application on June 27, 2014.
Once the pre-filing process begins, all documents and correspondence submitted to or issued by FERC regarding the project can be accessed on this website on the right side of the page or by referencing the Docket Number on the FERC's e-library website.
As part of the pre-file process, Paiute will host open houses in Elko, Nevada. The purpose of these public meetings is to provide you with more detailed information and an opportunity to offer your comments on the planned project. Representatives from FERC normally participate in these meetings as well.
The FERC will also host scoping meetings as part of the federal environmental process. These meetings also will be open to the public. The purpose of the scoping meetings is to gather comments and inputs from the public and other interested stakeholders on the proposed pipeline project.
Paiute filed its Certificate Application for this project at the FERC on June 27, 2014. FERC has assigned docket number CP14-509 to the project. Among other things, the Certificate Application will contain a description of the new facilities, the need for the project, detailed maps, schedules and various environmental reports. The information contained in the application and related environmental reports will detail the various studies and analyses that Paiute has conducted to determine what effect construction and operation could potentially have on the environment and community.
The environmental reports will include an analysis of route alternatives, as well as an analysis of potential impacts to water resources, vegetation and wildlife, cultural resources, socioeconomics, soils, geology and land use. When the Certificate Application is filed and a certificate proceeding (CP) docket number assigned, a copy of the application will be made available on this website, at the local library in Elko, Nevada, as well as via the FERC’s website by referencing the project’s docket number CP14-509.
The FERC will prepare an environmental evaluation using information included in the certificate application, supplemental information that may be provided by Paiute 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.
The evaluation also will indicate what mitigation measures, construction procedures, and routing could be included in the project to eliminate or reduce impacts.
FERC’s environmental document will be mailed to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; affected landowners; other interested parties and newspapers. FERC will establish a public comment period to provide ample time for the public to review the evaluation. Once the comment period ends, the FERC will address any comments in the final order.
If the 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. The FERC issues this document to signify that approval has been granted to build and operate the pipeline. Comments received on the environmental evaluation are typically addressed by the FERC in this document. The certificate will detail the conditions of the approval, including the final route the FERC has authorized, and construction and mitigation measures that must be followed.
Comments to the FERC
When providing comments to the FERC, you should reference the FERC docket number. Comments may be filed via the Internet on the FERC’s website using the eComment link.
You may also send written comments to the FERC at:
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First St., N.E., Room 1A
Washington, DC 20426
Other State & Federal Authorizations
Paiute is working closely with other state and federal agencies to obtain the necessary permits and authorizations to construct the pipeline project.
Additional information is available on this website and on the FERC website. Two of the guides that are available on the FERC website are hyperlinked below:
“An Interstate Natural Gas Facility on My Land? – What Do I Need to Know” and
“Your Guide to Electronic Information at FERC.” Both guides includeinformation about how to access and file information from the FERC, and how interested persons can let their voices be heard.