Description: Request for rehearing of FERC's authorization of a natural gas compressor station project in New York.
In re Dominion Transmission, Inc.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/10/2018 Letter Download Letter filed by New York attorney general regarding FERC order denying rehearing. New York Attorney General Urged FERC to “Disavow” New Policy on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The New York attorney general submitted a letter to FERC concerning its May 2018 order denying a rehearing request of it approval of natural gas facilities. The letter described FERC as announcing “a sudden and unprompted departure from FERC’s practice of evaluating the environmental impact of downstream greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas infrastructure projects, and announced a new policy of not evaluating upstream or downstream greenhouse gas emissions in the vast majority of cases.” New York contended that the denial order was “procedurally and substantively wrong” and urged FERC to “disavow” the majority opinion of the denial order and limit the determination to the instant proceeding. Delaware Riverkeeper and a number of other organizations and individuals submitted similar letters to FERC in May urging the agency to rescind its determination. 05/31/2018 Letter Download Letter submitted by environmental and community advocacy organizations demanding rescission of order denying rehearing. 05/26/2018 Letter Download The Delaware Riverkeeper Network submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission urging it to rescind the May 18 order. Delaware Riverkeeper Network said the policies concerning consideration of climate change impacts that were embodied in the order would violate FERC's "legal obligations pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act to fully and properly consider the climate changing impacts of its pipeline infrastructure decisionmaking." 05/18/2018 Order Download Rehearing denied. FERC Denied Rehearing of Approval of Natural Gas Facilities, Pulled Back on Consideration of Climate Change Impacts. In a split decision, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a request for rehearing of its issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a project involving two new natural gas compressor stations, upgrades and modifications to existing compressor stations, and changes to other related facilities in New York (the New Market Project). FERC concluded that the environmental assessment had appropriately excluded analysis of upstream and downstream impacts because such impacts were neither cumulative nor indirect impacts of the New Market Project. The majority said that “[f]or a short time” FERC had gone “beyond that which is required by [the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)], providing the public with information regarding the potential impacts associated with unconventional natural gas production and downstream combustion of natural gas, even where such production and downstream use was not reasonably foreseeable nor causally related to the proposals at issue.” The majority described such information as “generic in nature and inherently speculative” and said it did not “meaningfully inform … project-specific review” and was not “helpful to the public.” The majority also indicated that it would not consider such information in its analysis of public convenience and necessity under Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Two commissioners dissented in separate statements. Commissioner LaFleur said FERC should not change its policy on upstream and downstream impacts to provide less information regarding climate impacts. Commissioner Glick said that the majority’s consideration of climate change fell short of FERC’s obligations under NEPA and the NGA.