FERC extends landowner notice rules for gas lines

The US FERC approved a final rule on Oct. 18 that expands landowner notification requirements for certain interstate natural gas pipeline construction and upgrade projects.

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 18 -- The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a final rule on Oct. 18 that expands landowner notification requirements for certain interstate natural gas pipeline construction and upgrade projects.

The rule, which amends the commission's blanket certificate requirements, also requires noise surveys for completed compressor stations constructed or upgraded under blanket certificate authority, FERC said.

Under the rule, gas companies planning to build or upgrade compressors or LNG facilities must notify land or property owners within a half-mile of the project site's boundary before beginning construction, FERC said. It amends the current requirement for notification only if a landowner's property contains a residence within a half-mile of the project site.

"Expanding the notification requirements is the commission's latest step in protecting landowners and ensuring they have more opportunities to raise land use issues, regardless of whether the property contains a residence," said FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher.

Under the new rule, upon completion of a compressor project, gas companies will have to submit a noise survey that demonstrates compliance with a 55-db limit in noise-sensitive areas when operating at full load, FERC said. It noted that this is the same requirement applied to compressors installed after the commission has granted case-specific certificate authority.

FERC said its regulations provide blanket certificate authority for upgrading certain gas facilities that meet cost limits to $9.9 million under automatic authorization criteria or up to $28.2 million under prior notice criteria. The new rule will become effective 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

Contact Nick Snow at nsnow@cox.net.

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