Major Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines Under Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Authority
Interstate natural gas pipelines involve large diameter transmission pipelines that travel from state to state and typically fall under the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). FERC is tasked with regulating interstate pipeline projects within the United States. As energy companies are developing the gas rich Marcellus and Utica Shale regions of Pennsylvania, national pipeline companies are applying to FERC for authority to install interstate pipelines to move the gas to out of state and distant markets.
FERC evaluates interstate natural gas pipeline projects proposed by private natural gas companies for approval. A private pipeline company seeking FERC approval will file an application with FERC requesting that FERC grant a Certificate of Public Convenience authorizing the construction and installation of the requested pipelines and related pipeline facilities.
The FERC application process, review and approval is a somewhat lengthy process (typically 1-2 years) but statistically these FERC applications have a high approval rate. If you are notified that your property may or will be impacted by an application to FERC, you should visit and familiarize yourself with the Commission’s website: www.ferc.gov.
If FERC ultimately approves the proposed project and grants the Certificate of Public Convenience, the private pipeline company will obtain the authority of Eminent Domain and may acquire the requested pipeline easement by way of Condemnation. However, the private pipeline companies will negotiate with landowners before and during the FERC application process in effort to secure a Pipeline Easement Agreement. Of course, if the landowner and pipeline company do not reach a mutual agreement and FERC approves the project, the pipeline company has and will exercise its right to “take” the easement area through the court system. If the pipeline company acquires the easement through Eminent Domain, the court will ultimately determine fair and just compensation for the landowner.
If you are notified of a private pipeline company’s application to FERC for a project that will impact your land, you should immediately contact Attorney Doug Clark at The Clark Law Firm, PC. It is very important for landowners to learn and understand their rights very early in the FERC pre-application and application process. Do not simply do nothing and hope that the project goes away or is denied FERC approval. Rarely will this occur.
Attorney Doug Clark has represented many Pennsylvania Landowners in FERC interstate projects, including the MARC-1, Constitution, and Atlantic Sunrise projects. Doug has also represented landowners relative to the Sunoco Logistics Mariner East 1 and Mariner East 2 projects.
Doug recognizes that these are highly stressful times for landowners and he works with his landowner clients to educate and inform them of their rights and options when facing the potential condemnation of their property. Doug works with the landowner to develop a comprehensive strategy and he negotiates while the FERC application is pending to obtain the highest possible compensation and strongest property protection terms. Doug understands that art of making the most out of this difficult and trying time for the landowner.
Remember, knowledge is key and you must learn your rights and options as soon as possible when your property may be impacted by a FERC project. Doug Clark is Pennsylvania’s Landowner Lawyer and experienced in landowner representation in major FERC pipeline projects. We can help you. Contact us today!