In April, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report recommending the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) take actions to further develop, finalize, and implement updated pipeline regulations to address limitations regarding the BSEE’s ability to ensure the integrity of offshore oil and gas pipelines—and to address safety and environmental risks associated with pipeline decommissioning. BSEE is responsible for enforcing standards and regulations for oil and gas operations in federal offshore waters of which there has been 40,000 miles …Continue Reading
Third Circuit Court of Appeals Delivers Knockout Punch to PennEast Natural Gas Pipeline, Eminent Domain Squashed
Previously, we reported that that the United States District Courts for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey granted a consortium of natural gas companies the right of eminent domain to take steps toward building the PennEast pipeline to connect natural gas sources in Pennsylvania to parts of New Jersey. We then reported that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay to temporarily stop any physical construction from beginning on the pipeline in New Jersey until the appeal was decided.
Now, in the next …Continue Reading
Natural Gas Pipeline One Step Closer to Reality For Residents of New York
The United States Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) has issued an order holding that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) waived its authority under the Clean Water Act to issue or deny a water quality certification for the proposed Constitution Natural Gas Pipeline because DEC failed to act in a timely manner.
Entities proposing to construct interstate natural gas pipelines are subject to a multitude of state and federal permitting regulations and statutes. One such requirement, as scrutinized and decided by FERC in …Continue Reading
FERC Ambivalence Leads to Pipeline Approval
In a split decision, a bipartisan four-commissioner panel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved an application by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC for a construction certificate. Transco plans to upgrade several portions of a pipeline that serves the northeast region of the country, including parts of New York City and New Jersey.
Specifically, the project involves construction of approximately 14 miles of pipeline in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Queens County, New York, 23 miles of offshore pipeline near Queens and Staten Island, …Continue Reading
Executive Order 13868 – the Push is on to Maximize Energy Production – Climate Change Impacts and the Local Environment – Nevermind.
On April 10, 2019, the Trump administration published Executive Order 13868, “Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth,” which directs the EPA Administrator to, “consult with states, tribes, and relevant executive departments and agencies in reviewing section 401 of the Clean Water Act and EPA’s related regulations and guidance to determine whether any provisions thereof should be clarified to be consistent with the policies described in section two of this order.” The policy referred to in section two states, in relevant part:
It is the …Continue Reading
Third Circuit Court of Appeals Halts Construction of PennEast Natural Gas Pipeline, Must Decide Issue of Eminent Domain
Recently, we reported that the United States District Courts for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey granted a consortium of natural gas companies the right of eminent domain to take steps towards building the PennEast pipeline to connect natural gas sources in Pennsylvania to parts of New Jersey.
As the next development in this project’s complicated legal track, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay to temporarily stop any physical construction from beginning on the pipeline in New …Continue Reading
Federal Court Shoots Down Pipeline Project
The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with environmental groups this week, ruling that the U.S. Forest Service violated federal environmental laws by granting permission for the construction of the Atlantic Coastal Pipeline. This 600 mile natural gas pipeline would cut through the mid-Atlantic United States, from West Virginia to North Caroline, and would traverse part of the Appalachian Trail.
The project has been met with opposition since its inception, with environmentalists arguing that federal agencies have failed to properly review the impact of …Continue Reading
What’s a Significant Impact? Fifth Circuit Rules Pipeline Can Go Forward
In the latest development in the eternal struggle between environmental groups and hydrocarbon pipeline developers, the Fifth Circuit recently discarded an injunction that was preventing construction of a pipeline through the Atchafalaya Basin, home of the country’s largest river swamp. The pipeline is meant to connect the controversial Dakota Access pipeline to refineries and export terminals in St. James Parish, Louisiana.
In order to construct the pipeline, Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC had to secure a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In order …Continue Reading
Slow the Flow? U.S. District Court orders Army Corps of Engineers to Reconsider Environmental Analysis of the Dakota Access Pipeline
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a pipeline built by Energy Transfer Partners to move oil from western North Dakota to Illinois, where it can be shipped to the Gulf Coast and points beyond. The Army Corps of Engineers approved the completion of the DAPL on February 8, 2017. The DAPL began operating June 1, 2017 and has the capacity to move half of North Dakota’s daily oil production.
In the summer of 2016, the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes began efforts to …Continue Reading