Regulatory

Federal Court Disallows FERC Rehearing Policy

A federal court tossed out a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) policy to extend rehearing periods so it could spend more time examining primarily landowner or environmental groups’ complaints about FERC’s approval of a new construction application.

PHMSA Proposal on Valves Proves Controversial

Flack is hitting the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) from all sides over its proposed rule to require automatic and remote shutoff valves on oil and gas pipelines. The February 2020 proposed rule from PHMSA attempts to implement mandates from both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Congress.

Federal Court Decision Threatens Pipeline Work Around Wetlands

Pipeline construction in and around wetlands faces a major, new legal impediment, given the significant, mid-April decision by a federal district court in Montana.

Court Rejects Bid to Revive Cancelled U.S. Pipeline Program

More than 70 pipeline projects across the U.S. could be affected by a federal appeals court decision to deny a request from the Trump administration to overturn a lower court ruling involving the Keystone XL pipeline which halted a national permitting program.

EPA Proposes First Ever Rule to Improve Transparency of Guidance

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new rule to establish consistent requirements and procedures for issuing guidance documents.

Maryland, Virginia, D.C. Intend to Sue EPA on Bay Pollution

Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are planning to file a lawsuit against the EPA for what they claim is a failure for the organization to hold two other states accountable for meeting targets set to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

PHMSA Allowing Enforcement Flexibility During Coronavirus Pandemic

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is giving enforcement latitude to pipeline operators during the coronavirus pandemic.

CEQ Pro-Pipeline NEPA Changes Generate Heated Attacks

The CEQ proposal includes changes to the wording and timelines in the NEPA – which controls the scope of environmental impact statements – in an attempt to modernize the 30-year-old law. Many of those pro-pipeline changes parallel recommendations made last December by the National Petroleum Council.

U.S. Delays Pipeline Approvals After Environmental Ruling

Pipelines and utility projects across the country could face long delays and increased costs after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers halted a nationwide permit program citing a recent federal court ruling that declared the permit illegal.

U.S. Senate Confirms Danly to FERC, Widening Republican Majority

The U.S. Senate on Thursday easily confirmed James Danly as a Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, widening the Republican majority on the panel.

Wisconsin Assembly to Vote on Bills Fighting Water Pollution

A bipartisan, $10 million package of more than a dozen bills designed to combat groundwater contamination in Wisconsin is slated for approval in the state assembly.

FERC Boosts Natural Gas in Lieu of Alternative Fuels

An order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in December against state subsidies for nuclear and renewable energy – called “out-of-market subsidies” – apparently gives a big boost to electric utilities using natural gas and the pipelines that feed them.

Washington Regulatory Outlook: Changes Could Benefit Industry in 2020

Two key Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) regulations could have a big impact on water and gas pipeline construction if they are completed this year.

Feds to Fund Water Infrastructure Projects in Four States

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $2.7 billion for infrastructure projects that help protect surface water and provide safe drinking water to communities across the country.

Texas Railroad Commission Adopts New Pipeline Safety Rules

The Railroad Commission (RRC) of Texas has adopted new natural gas pipeline safety rules regarding the type of natural gas distribution pipelines that are allowed to be installed.

House Dems to Approve Tough Pipeline Bill

Democrats in the House are about to pass a new pipeline safety bill, which is unlikely to attract any Republican support. The Pipeline Safety Act (H.R. 5120), passed by two House committees in November with no GOP votes in favor, also clashes with the bi-partisan bill passed last summer by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Minnesotans Show Support for Line 3 Pipeline Replacement

A grassroots organization supporting the Line 3 replacement project said it has helped generate comments to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) from nearly 7,500 people around the state who are in favor of the crude oil pipeline.

White House Unveils Plan to Speed Big Projects Permits

The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a plan to speed permitting for major infrastructure projects like oil pipelines, road expansions and bridges, one of the biggest deregulatory actions of the president's tenure.

EPA Considers Cancelling Emission Control Requirements

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to relieve the gas transmission industry from compliance with 2012 and 2016 Clean Air Act standards related to volatile organic chemicals (VOC) and greenhouse gases, chiefly methane.

PHMSA Issues Major Gas, Hazardous Liquid Safety Rules

Years after receiving congressional directives to change safety laws – and similar suggestions from the National Transportation Safety Administration – the federal pipeline safety agency finally issued two major rules: one directed at interstate gas pipelines and the other at hazardous liquids pipelines.

Trump Administration Drops Obama-Era Water Protection Rule

The Trump administration revoked an Obama-era regulation that shielded many U.S. wetlands and streams from pollution but was opposed by developers and farmers who said it hurt economic development and infringed on property rights.

Fed Recommendations Based on 2018 Massachusetts Blasts

Federal officials are recommending stronger nationwide requirements for natural gas systems following last September's natural gas explosions and fires in Massachusetts.

South Carolina: Google can Pump Drinking Water for Servers

South Carolina is allowing Google to cool its servers by pumping nearly 550 million gallons of water annually from a declining aquifer.

Justices Seem Unsure if CWA Reaches to Wastewater Permits

The Supreme Court seems uncertain about how to decide a Hawaii case that will determine if a sewage treatment plant needs a federal permit to send treated wastewater deep underground.

Water Environment Federation Names MS4 Award Winners

Twenty-two high-performing municipalities and one university received recognition in the fifth annual National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards, which celebrate administrators of municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) that perform beyond regulatory requirements.

Columbia Gas Ordered to Seek State Approval for All Non-Emergency Work

Massachusetts officials are placing additional restrictions on the utility company blamed for last year’s destructive gas explosions following a major gas leak that prompted evacuations last week.

Enbridge Installing Supports for Great Lakes Oil Pipeline

Enbridge says it has begun installing steel supports on an oil pipeline in Michigan's Straits of Mackinac, where erosion has created a gap between the line and the lake bottom.

Trump Administration Drops Obama-Era Water Protection Rule

The Trump administration on Thursday revoked an Obama-era regulation that shielded many U.S. wetlands and streams from pollution but was opposed by developers and farmers who said it hurt economic development and infringed on property rights.

Sewage Dumping at Airport Caused No Contamination

State regulators say Rapid City Regional Airport did not cause contamination when it dumped sewage on its property last month.

EPA Launches 60-day Comment Period for Clean Water Act Changes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a proposed rule to implement Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) intended to streamline the approval process for permits that are often an obstacle for pipelines and other infrastructure projects.