Williams Partners NG Pipeline to Move Forward Despite New York’s Objections

New York’s denial of a water quality permit that had blocked Williams Partners natural gas pipeline project was cleared by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The regulators ruled last Wednesday that the state Department of Environmental Conservation missed a one-year deadline when it rejected the permit in 2016.

After New York rejected a water quality permit over concerns for 250 streams, Williams appealed to federal courts. But after losing court challenges, Williams appealed to FERC. The 124-mile, 30-inch-wide pipeline would run from Pennsylvania’s shale gas fields to eastern New York.

The project still needs a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Williams spokesman Christopher Stockton said. He added that the project sponsors are evaluating their next steps.


PHMSA and FERC Sign Memorandum of Understanding To Expedite LNG Permit Reviews

A memorandum of understanding to expedite coordination between the U.S. Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Regulatory Commission during permit application reviews for proposed LNG export facilities has been signed by both parties on August 31.

PHMSA is responsible for standards governing the location and design of LNG facilities while FERC is responsible for determining if the proposed LNG facilities are in the public interest.

The MOU clarifies each agency’s responsibilities related to the application review process for potential LNG projects. PHMSA will encapsulate its findings in a letter of determination, which FERC will accept as the authoritative determination of proposed facility’s ability to comply with safety regulations.

“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.

The agreement also refines information-sharing practices between the agencies. This includes documents, information, and data submitted by facility applicants, Elliot said.

Once FERC receives a determination letter, it will consider PHMSA’s findings in deciding whether an LNG export project is in the public interest. “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,” said FERC Chairman Kevin J. McIntyre.

Oil & Gas Journal