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what agency regulates all interstate natural gas pipelines?

October 25, 2020

Interstate pipelines are managed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800, 444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515 After a natural gas pipeline explosion in California in September 2010, state lawmakers discussed changing state law to increase oversight of natural gas pipelines during a legislative hearing in October 2010. OPS or PHMSA certifies state agencies annually to perform their regulatory duties, and OPS also can authorize states to inspect interstate pipelines, although it retains enforcement responsibilities. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates pipelines, storage, natural gas transportation in interstate commerce, and liquefied natural gas facility … 7700 East First Place DOT, n.d.). Technical Conference regarding Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO)/Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Alaska and Hawaii are the only states completely regulated by OPS. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates pipelines, storage, natural gas transportation in interstate commerce, and liquefied natural gas facility construction. Many states experience more pipeline-related incidents than others, however, and may wish to consider strengthening their oversight standards. These regulations are published in the Code of Federal Regulations at 49 C.F.R. Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069, Research, Editorial, Legal and Committee Staff, E-Learning | Staff Professional Development, Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce, Copyright 2020 by National Conference of State Legislatures, Breaking It Down: Understanding the Terminology, Variation of Incidents Despite Similar Inspection Efforts, Population Density and Pipeline Mileage per Square Foot of Land, U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Program. The OPS collaborates with partnering agencies and departments to ensure pipeline operation safety, security, monitoring and compliance. All Rights Reserved. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines. Both federal and state agencies regulate pipelines across the United States. These include: Copyright © 2020 Interstate Natural Gas Association of America. Other Laws and Regulations Federal and State Responsibilities. Within DOT, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), through the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), is responsible for establishing and enforcing proper design, construction, operation, maintenance, testing and inspection standards for both oil and natural gas pipelines. Several incidents in Pennsylvania raise questions about the safety of the nation’s massive, aging infrastructure. Tree trimmings near local distribution power lines in residential neighborhoods. Issuance of State Water Quality Certificates; Oversight for the construction of oil pipelines; Abandonment of service as related to oil facilities; Mergers and acquisitions as related to natural gas and oil companies; Regulation of local distribution pipelines of natural gas; Development and operation of natural gas vehicles; Reliability problems related to failures of local distribution facilities; and. PHMSA recently released a report that includes 56 recommendations to guide key stakeholders such as local government, property owners, pipeline operators, and real estate commissions on how to improve their safety efforts. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reviews and authorizes the operation of the interstate natural gas pipelines. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is an independent agency of the United States government that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. Pipeline Safety Section, Gas Services Division, Arizona Corporate Commission, California Office of the State Fire Marshal, Pipeline Safety Division, Illinois Commerce Commission, Pipeline Safety Division, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Safety and Engineering Section, Iowa Utilities Board, Pipeline Safety Division, Kansas Commerce Commission, Office of Conservation, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Pipeline Engineering/Safety Division, Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy, Office of Pipeline Safety, State Fire Marshal Division, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Deputy State Fire Marshals, Fuels Division, Nebraska State Fire Marshals Office, Bureau of Pipeline Safety, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Pipeline Safety Bureau, Transportation Division, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, Office of Gas and Water, New York State Department of Public Service, Pipeline Safety Section, North Carolina Utility Commission, Pipeline Safety Section, Gas Services Division, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Gas Safety Division, Bureau of Transportation and Safety, PUC, Gas Pipeline Safety Division, Tennessee Regulatory Authority, Pipeline Safety Section, Gas Services Division, Texas Railroad Commission, Director of Engineering, Vermont Department of Public Service, Division of Utility and Railroad Safety, Virginia State Corporation Commission, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, Pipeline Safety Program, Natural Gas Division, Wisconsin Public Service Commission, Source: Office of Pipeline Safety, PHMSA Pipeline Safety Program (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation, n.d.), 4  U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Program, Stakeholder Communications, Inspection (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Many areas outside of FERC’s jurisdictional responsibility are dealt with by State Public Utility Commissions. Denver, CO 80230 The report "Partnering to Further Enhance Pipeline Safety In Communities Through Risk-Informed Land Use Planning Final Report of Recommended Practices November 2010" focuses on transparency and information-sharing. To access its full text, please click here. Regulation of retail electricity and natural gas sales to consumers; Approval for the physical construction of electric generation facilities; Regulation of activities of the municipal power systems, federal power marketing agencies like the, Regulation of nuclear power plants by the. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) The FERC sets rates on a pipeline-by-pipeline basis, and approves for each pipeline what amounts to a maximum allowable rate, or a rate cap. However, pipelines customers can and often do demand discounts from these maximum rates, with the net outcome being that many pipeline customers pay less than the maximum rate a pipeline has been given permission to charge by the FERC. New construction, pricing power, safety, environmental impacts, and other aspects of pipeline operation are all highly regulated. Arizona, Connecticut, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Washington and West Virginia are authorized to act as interstate agents. Both federal and state agencies regulate pipelines across the United States. Parts 190-199. The US DOT Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) administers the national regulatory program to assure the safe and environmentally sound transportation of natural gas, liquefied natural gas and hazardous liquids by pipeline. As of June 2010, 88 full-time PHMSA pipeline inspectors were employed to conduct the comprehensive OPS inspection and enforcement program to ensure that pipeline operators comply with all safety regulations.4. Once natural gas pipeline projects are operating, the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), acting through the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), regulates, monitors and enforces safety. Areas considered outside of FERC's responsibility include: This page was last updated on July 15, 2020, FERC Staff Presents Report on 2020/2021 Winter Energy Market and Reliability Assessment, FERC Proposes Policy Statement on State-Determined Carbon Pricing in Wholesale Markets, Technical Conference regarding Offshore Wind Integration in RTOs/ISOs, FERC-D2SI Security Branch Webinar - Annual Security Compliance Certification (New Template) and Cyber Asset Designation Worksheet. Pipelines must go through a lengthy, public process whenever they request rate increases, regardless of the supply/demand balance in the underlying commodity. Investigators are seeking the exact trigger of the most recent explosion and at least three pending pieces of legislation in Pennsylvania (HB 102, SB 325 and HB 344) would provide for civil penalties for gas pipeline safety violations and regulation of certain operators. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. Don Santa is president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, an industry trade association that represents the operators of nearly 200,000 miles of natural gas pipeline. Natural Gas Pipelines. The Natural Gas Act of 1938 empowers the FERC with plenary authority to conduct the review of a proposed interstate natural gas pipeline, coordinate environmental and land user permitting with other federal and state agencies, and determine with a proposed pipeline meets the “public convenience and necessity.”  As part of approving a pipeline application, FERC can specify the conditions under which the pipeline can be constructed, including the route used. Administers accounting and financial reporting regulations and conduct of regulated companies. Several other laws and regulations impact the construction and operation of interstate natural gas pipelines. The state agency regulations must be at least as stringent as the federal regulations. FERC reviews applications for construction and operation of interstate natural gas pipelines under the authority of section 7 of the Natural Gas Act. Actions Regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Frequently Asked Questions: Spillway Inspections, Prohibition of Energy Market Manipulation, Designation of Incoming Dam Safety Documents, Office of Administrative Litigation (OAL), Office of Energy Infrastructure Security (OEIS), Office of Energy Market Regulation (OEMR), Office of Energy Policy and Innovation (OEPI), Information for Jobseekers with Disabilities, Standards for Descriptions of Documents Submitted to FERC, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) eLibrary, An Overview of the FERC and Federal Regulation of Public Utilities in the United States. Who regulates pipelines in my area? Under the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), FERC is the lead permitting agency for U.S. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave FERC additional responsibilities as outlined and updated Strategic Plan. Recent accidents and increasing dependence on U.S. natural gas supplies have sharpened concern for pipeline security and safety. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates many aspects of interstate gas transmission pipeline operations, including approval, permitting and siting for new pipeline facilities (largely an assessment of the public need for a project versus its landowner and environmental impacts), as well as transmission rates that pipelines are permitted to charge for interstate shipments.

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