PHMSA, FERC Agree to Simplify
LNG Permit Application Review

With the substantial increase of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facility applications, two U.S. agencies are working together to develop a more streamlined permit application review process.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced on July 19 that they are developing a Memorandum of Understanding to refine the LNG permit application process.

The memorandum will clarify each agency’s role in the permitting process. FERC’s authorization process will leverage PHMSA’s safety expertise to evaluate the potential impact the LNG facilities may have on public safety.

“PHMSA is pleased to work with FERC to advance critical infrastructure projects that support our nation’s growing energy dominance in the safest and most efficient way possible,” PHMSA Administrator Skip Elliott said in a press release.

In its Open Access podcast, FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre said the agency currently has 15 terminal applications, most of which are for LNG facilities. In 2011, the agency had one LNG application.

“The enormous increase in natural gas production in the United States is a genuine American success story, and for that we owe a debt of thanks to largely homegrown technological advancements,” McIntyre said. “As a result of this and as a reflection of the global demand for natural gas, FERC has experienced a rapid and sizeable increase in the number of applications seeking authorization to construct and operate facilities to export LNG.”

He added that FERC has released a revised notice of schedule for only two projects in the last six months.

“FERC staff is very cognizant of the financial market impacts of its LNG project schedules,” McIntyre said. “Moreover, since we have been working diligently to streamline our permitting process and are still making significant strides in that direction the release of any schedules to date would have been premature.”

McIntyre said FERC will not provide any new project schedules until the agency has all the details to ensure the schedules are accurate.

FERC is looking to hire additional engineering staff to speed up the LNG application process and they are considering using third parties to inspect new LNG construction.

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Whitney Jones | Technical Writer
Industrial Training Services, Inc.
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Posted by: ITS-Training at 3:00 pm on August 1, 2018

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