Description: Challenge to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorization of construction and operation of the 261 Upgrade Project, a set of projects in southern Massachusetts to increase transportation capacity on the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline system.
Food & Water Watch v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/11/2022 Opinion Download Petition for review granted in part. D.C. Circuit Said FERC Review of Pipeline Project Should Have Quantified Downstream Emissions. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) failed to account for reasonably foreseeable indirect impacts that a new natural gas pipeline and compressor station in Massachusetts would have on greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, the D.C. Circuit agreed with petitioners that the end use of natural gas transported by the project was reasonably foreseeable. The court ordered FERC to conduct a supplemental environmental assessment that either quantified and considered downstream greenhouse gas emissions or explained in more detail why it could not do so. The D.C. Circuit rejected other arguments made by the petitioner. First, it found that it could not consider arguments regarding FERC’s failure to consider upstream effects because the petitioner failed to raise the argument with specificity before FERC. The court also found that the petitioner failed to raise specific arguments before FERC regarding the agency’s failure to consider the significance of the project’s carbon emissions. In addition, the D.C. Circuit concluded that FERC acted reasonably by conducting a separate environmental review for a nearby natural gas meter station project. 07/27/2020 Brief Download Brief filed by petitioners. 04/21/2020 Petition for Review Download Petition for review filed. Organizations Challenged FERC Approval of Natural Gas Projects in Massachusetts. Two organizations filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for review of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s granting of a certificate authorizing construction and operation of the 261 Upgrade Project, a set of projects in southern Massachusetts to increase transportation capacity on the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline system. The petition said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) arbitrarily and capriciously departed from D.C. Circuit precedent regarding how FERC should evaluate greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel production and transportation projects.