- Our Project
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Before Williams can modify or construct any new Transco pipeline facilities, the company must obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Northeast Supply Enhancement project was pre-filed with FERC in May 2016. Williams filed a Certificate Application with FERC on March 27, 2017 (Docket No. CP17-101). The filing can be viewed here.
On Jan. 25, 2019, the FERC issued a final Environmental Impact Statement, concluding that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the company and FERC.
If the project is ultimately approved, project construction could begin in 2019.
FERC pre-filing is designed to solicit early public input.
Surveys gather scientific data needed to develop a project certificate application.
Scoping meetings are used by FERC to collect public comments & identify issues
The FERC application outlines the need for the project and provides an environmental analysis of facility construction and operation
Pipeline or compressor station construction initiated
Natural gas delivered to the customer
The FERC plays a central role in the planning and development of pipeline projects across the country. The Commission works closely with federal, state and local agencies to determine whether proposed projects are needed and in the public interest, ultimately authorizing or denying them.
At Williams, we are committed to full cooperation as we move through the regulatory process in order to make this critical infrastructure a reality. We work alongside FERC and the other government agencies, while engaging stakeholders and community members along every step.
Williams is committed to consulting with all stakeholders throughout the development and construction of our projects. This is why we perform this voluntary pre-filing process with FERC in order to give state and federal agencies, landowners and any other stakeholders an opportunity to identify and resolve issues and to consider any alternative pipeline routing and aboveground facility locations. At the start of the Pre-Filing stage, FERC issues a Notice of Intent (NOI) in order to prepare for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or an Environmental Assessment (EA). Through this NOI, FERC initiates a scoping period in which stakeholders and agencies submit comments regarding environmental concerns. The request to use the pre-filing process must include a project description, public participation plan and a stakeholder list.
Once the pre-filing process is complete, Williams will file a formal Certificate Application with the Commission. Any applicable permit applications are submitted to other federal, state and local agencies at this time. The Certificate Application contains a description of the new facilities, detailed maps, schedules, environmental reports and an overview of the need for the project. Copies of the Application and the environmental report will be available on www.ferc.gov, as well as at public locations within impacted counties.
FERC will issue a new docket number once the application is filed and, within 10 days, the Commission issues a Notice of Application. During the application review, the Commission ensures that the applicant has certified that it will comply with Department of Transportation safety standards. Throughout the application review stage, Williams maintains communication with agencies and stakeholders. Within 90 days of Application acceptance, FERC will indicate when it plans to issue the environmental document that summarizes potential environmental impacts of the project.
FERC uses this time to analyze the data provided in the application and then prepare the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This document evaluates the positive and negative environmental effects of the project. The public comment period for a draft EIS is at least 45 days, which begins when FERC publishes the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. Comment meetings provide the public with a forum, much like the scoping meetings during the pre-filing process.
In response to sentiments expressed in the public comment meetings, FERC staff revises the Draft EIS and announces its Proposed Action. The public is not invited to comment on the Final EIS, but they may contact the FERC Director if they wish to protest an issue. Once the decision is made, FERC issues a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. The applicant must take the following actions after this Certificate is issued:
Only after receiving authorization from the FERC and all Clean Water Act permits may construction begin. Once construction has begun staff from FERC and other regulatory agencies will conduct periodic site visits throughout the construction process, which typically lasts around 18 months, to ensure workplace compliance. Williams must receive FERC approval to commence service, and even once the pipeline is in operation, the Commission continues monitoring the right-of-way to make sure that applicable restoration efforts are completed.