Spire STL Pipeline LLC received a temporary certificate from the US Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorizing continued operation of Spire STL pipeline.
This temporary certificate – issued under Section 7(c)(1)(B) of the Natural Gas Act – comes after a June 22 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (DC Circuit) which vacated the STL Pipeline's FERC authorization and remanded it back to the agency for further review (OGJ Online, June 24, 2021).
Spire STL began operations in November 2019, transporting as much as 400 MMcfd natural gas 65 miles from Illinois to Missouri.
On July 26, the company filed an application for a temporary emergency certificate stating that if the STL pipeline is removed from service, Spire Missouri customers in the St. Louis region would not have adequate gas supply and may see serious service disruptions during extreme cold weather periods.
Since submitting its application, 51 letters of support have been submitted to the FERC docket from a cross section of 106 policymakers, businesses, industry and labor organizations, and community and advocacy groups who recognize the need for the pipeline this winter, the company said.
The temporary certificate issued Sept. 14 will remain in place for 90 days, while the Commission evaluates Spire's July 26 temporary certificate application. Authorization to continue operations also will allow STL Pipeline to continue to perform land restoration along the project right-of-way.
"When we filed for a temporary emergency certificate on July 26, the goal was to address an emergency situation in the St. Louis region while allowing FERC more time to review the full certificate on remand. The Commission's order is a good first step in doing that," says Scott Smith, president, Spire STL pipeline. "This temporary certificate provides additional time to meaningfully engage with all stakeholders on the need for STL Pipeline without the threat of customers in Eastern Missouri losing the energy they rely on,” Smith said.