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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of August 21, 2014

Title 10Chapter IISubchapter G → Part 590


Title 10: Energy


PART 590—ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES WITH RESPECT TO THE IMPORT AND EXPORT OF NATURAL GAS


Contents

Subpart A—General Provisions

§590.100   OMB Control Numbers.
§590.101   Purpose and scope.
§590.102   Definitions.
§590.103   General requirements for filing documents with FE.
§590.104   Address for filing documents.
§590.105   Computation of time.
§590.106   Dockets.
§590.107   Service.
§590.108   Off-the-record communications.
§590.109   FE investigations.

Subpart B—Applications for Authorization To Import or Export Natural Gas

§590.201   General.
§590.202   Contents of applications.
§590.203   Deficient applications.
§590.204   Amendment or withdrawal of applications.
§590.205   Notice of applications.
§590.206   Notice of procedures.
§590.207   Filing fees.
§590.208   Small volume exports.
§590.209   Exchanges by displacement.

Subpart C—Procedures

§590.301   General.
§590.302   Motions and answers.
§590.303   Interventions and answers.
§590.304   Protests and answers.
§590.305   Informal discovery.
§590.306   Subpoenas.
§590.307   Depositions.
§590.308   Admissions of facts.
§590.309   Settlements.
§590.310   Opportunity for additional procedures.
§590.311   Conferences.
§590.312   Oral presentations.
§590.313   Trial-type hearings.
§590.314   Presiding officials.
§590.315   Witnesses.
§590.316   Shortened proceedings.
§590.317   Complaints.

Subpart D—Opinions and Orders

§590.401   Orders to show cause.
§590.402   Conditional orders.
§590.403   Emergency interim orders.
§590.404   Final opinions and orders.
§590.405   Transferability.
§590.406   Compliance with orders.
§590.407   Reports of changes.

Subpart E—Applications for Rehearing

§590.501   Filing.
§590.502   Application is not a stay.
§590.503   Opinion and order on rehearing.
§590.504   Denial by operation of law.
§590.505   Answers to applications for rehearing.

Authority: Secs. 301(b), 402(f), and 644, Pub. L. 95-91, 91 Stat. 578, 585, and 599 (42 U.S.C. 7151(b), 7172(f), and 7254), Sec. 3, Act of June 21, 1938, c. 556, 52 Stat. 822 (15 U.S.C. 717b); E.O. 12009 (42 FR 46267, September 15, 1977); DOE Delegation Order Nos. 0204-111 and 0204-127 (49 FR 6684, February 22, 1984; 54 FR 11437, March 20, 1989).

Source: 54 FR 53531, Dec. 29, 1989, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General Provisions

§590.100   OMB Control Numbers.

The information collection requirements contained in this part have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget under Control No. 1903-0081.

§590.101   Purpose and scope.

The purpose of this part is to establish the rules and procedures required to be followed by persons to obtain authorizations from DOE to import or export natural gas under the Natural Gas Act and by all other persons interested in participating in a natural gas import or export proceeding before the agency. This part establishes the procedural rules necessary to implement the authorities vested in the Secretary of Energy by sections 301(b) and 402(f) of the DOE Act, which have been delegated to the Assistant Secretary.

§590.102   Definitions.

As used in this part:

(a) Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy or any employee of the DOE who has been delegated final decisional authority.

(b) Contested proceeding means a proceeding:

(1) Where a protest or a motion to intervene, or a notice of intervention, in opposition to an application or other requested action has been filed, or

(2) Where a party otherwise notifies the Assistant Secretary and the other parties to a proceeding in writing that it opposes an application or other requested action.

(c) Decisional employee means the Assistant Secretary, presiding officials at conferences, oral presentations or trial-type hearings, and any other employee of the DOE, including consultants and contractors, who are, or may reasonably be expected to be, involved in the decision-making process, including advising the Assistant Secretary on the resolution of issues involved in a proceeding. The term includes those employees of the DOE assisting in the conduct of trial-type hearings by performing functions on behalf of the Assistant Secretary or presiding official.

(d) DOE means the Department of Energy, of which FE is a part.

(e) DOE Act means the Department of Energy Organization Act, Public Law 95-91, 91 Stat. 565 (42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.).

(f) FE means the Office of The Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy.

(g) FERC means the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(h) Interested person means a person, other than a decisional employee, whose interest in a proceeding goes beyond the general interest of the public as a whole and includes applicants, intervenors, competitors of applicants, and other individuals and organizations, including non-profit and public interest organizations, and state, local, and other public officials, with a proprietary, financial or other special interest in the outcome of a proceeding. The term does not include other federal agencies or foreign governments and their representatives, unless the agency, foreign government, or representative of a foreign government is a party to the proceeding.

(i) Natural gas means natural gas and mixtures of natural gas and synthetic natural gas, regardless of physical form or phase, including liquefied natural gas and gels primarily composed of natural gas.

(j) NGA means the Natural Gas Act of June 21, 1938, c. 556, 52 Stat. 821 (15 U.S.C. 717 et seq.).

(k) Off-the-record communication means a written or oral communication not on the record which is relevant to the merits of a proceeding, and about which the parties have not been given reasonable prior notice of the nature and purpose of the communication and an opportunity to be present during such communication or, in the case of a written communication, an opportunity to respond to the communication. It does not include communications concerned solely with procedures which are not relevant to the merits of a proceeding. It also does not include general background discussions about an entire industry or natural gas markets or communications of a general nature made in the course of developing agency policy for future general application, even though these discussions may relate to the merits of a particular proceeding.

(l) Party means an applicant, any person who has filed a motion for and been granted intervenor status or whose motion to intervene is pending, and any state commission which has intervened by notice pursuant to §590.303(a).

(m) Person means any individual, firm, estate, trust, partnership, association, company, joint-venture, corporation, United States local, state and federal governmental unit or instrumentality thereof, charitable, educational or other institution, and others, including any officer, director, owner, employee, or duly authorized representative of any of the foregoing.

(n) Presiding official means any employee of the DOE who has been designated by the Assistant Secretary to conduct any stage of a proceeding, which may include presiding at a conference, oral presentation, or trial-type hearing, and who has been delegated the authority of the Assistant Secretary to make rulings and issue orders in the conduct of such proceeding, other than final opinions and orders, orders to show cause, emergency interim orders, or conditional decisions under subpart D and orders on rehearing under subpart E.

(o) Proceeding means the process and activity, and any part thereof, instituted by FE either in response to an application, petition, motion or other filing under this part, or on its own initiative, by which FE develops and considers the relevant facts, policy and applicable law concerning the importation or exportation of natural gas and which may lead to the issuance of an order by the Assistant Secretary under subparts D and E.

(p) State commission means the regulatory body of a state or municipality having jurisdiction to regulate rates and charges for the sale of natural gas to consumers within the state or municipality, or having any regulatory jurisdiction over parties involved in the import or export arrangement.

§590.103   General requirements for filing documents with FE.

(a) Any document, including but not limited to an application, amendment of an application, request, petition, motion, answer, comment, protest, complaint, and any exhibit submitted in connection with such documents, shall be filed with FE under this part. Such document shall be considered officially filed with FE when it has been received and stamped with the time and date of receipt by the Office of Fuels Programs, FE. Documents transmitted to FE must be addressed as provided in §590.104. All documents and exhibits become part of the record in the official FE docket file and will not be returned. An original and fifteen (15) copies of all applications, filings and submittals shall be provided to FE. No specific format is required. Applicants required to file quarterly reports as a condition to an authorization need only file an original and four (4) copies.

(b) Upon receipt by FE, each application or other initial request for action shall be assigned a docket number. Any petition, motion, answer, request, comment, protest, complaint or other document filed subsequently in a docketed proceeding with FE shall refer to the assigned docket number. All documents shall be signed either by the person upon whose behalf the document is filed or by an authorized representative. Documents signed by an authorized representative shall contain a certified statement that the representative is a duly authorized representative unless the representative has a certified statement already on file in the FE docket of the proceeding. All documents shall also be verified under oath or affirmation by the person filing, or by an officer or authorized representative of the firm having knowledge of the facts alleged. Each document filed with FE shall contain a certification that a copy has been served as required by §590.107 and indicate the date of service. Service of each document must be made not later than the date of the filing of the document.

(c) A person who files an application shall state whether, to the best knowledge of that person, the same or a related matter is being considered by any other part of the DOE, including the FERC, or any other Federal agency or department and, if so, shall identify the matter and the agency or department.

§590.104   Address for filing documents.

All documents filed under this part shall be addressed to: Office of Fuels Programs, Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, Docket Room 3F-056, FE-50, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. All hand delivered documents shall be filed with the Office of Fuels Programs at the above address between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

§590.105   Computation of time.

(a) In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these regulations, the day of the act or event from which the designated period of time begins to run is not included. The period of time begins to run the next day after the day of the act or event. The last day of the period so computed is included unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal Federal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day that is neither a Saturday, Sunday, nor a legal Federal holiday, unless otherwise provided by this part or by the terms of an FE order. Documents received after the regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. are deemed filed on the next regular business day.

(b) When a document is required to be filed with FE within a prescribed time, an extension of time to file may be granted for good cause shown.

(c) An order is issued and effective when date stamped by the Office of Fuels Programs, FE, after the order has been signed unless another effective date is specified in the order.

§590.106   Dockets.

The FE shall maintain a docket file of each proceeding under this part, which shall contain the official record upon which all orders provided for in subparts D and E shall be based. The official record in a particular proceeding shall include the official service list, all documents filed under §590.103, the official transcripts of any procedures held under subpart C, and opinions and orders issued by FE under subparts D and E, and reports of contract amendments under §590.407. All dockets shall be available for inspection and copying by the public during regular business hours between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Dockets are located in the Office of Fuels Programs, FE, Docket Room 3F-056, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

§590.107   Service.

(a) An applicant, any other party to a proceeding, or a person filing a protest shall serve a copy of all documents filed with FE upon all parties unless otherwise provided in this part. The copy of a document served upon parties shall be a true copy of the document filed with FE, but does not have to be a copy stamped with the time and date of receipt by FE. The FE shall maintain an official service list for each proceeding which shall be provided upon request.

(b) When the parties are not known, such as during the initial comment period following publication of the notice of application, service requirements under paragraph (a) of this section may be met by serving a copy of all documents on the applicant and on FE for inclusion in the FE docket in the proceeding.

(c) All documents required to be served under this part may be served by hand, certified mail, registered mail, or regular mail. It shall be the responsibility of the serving party to ensure that service is effected in a timely manner. Service is deemed complete upon delivery or upon mailing, whichever occurs first.

(d) Service upon a person's duly authorized representatives on the official service list shall constitute service upon that person.

(e) All FE orders, notices, or other FE documents shall be served on the parties by FE either by hand, registered mail, certified mail, or regular mail, except as otherwise provided in this part.

§590.108   Off-the-record communications.

(a) In any contested proceeding under this part:

(1) No interested person shall make an off-the-record communication or knowingly cause an off-the-record communication to be made to any decisional employee.

(2) No decisional employee shall make an off-the-record communication or knowingly cause an off-the-record communication to be made to any interested person.

(3) A decisional employee who receives, makes, or knowingly causes to be made an oral off-the-record communication prohibited by this section shall prepare a memorandum stating the substance of the communication and any responses made to it.

(4) Within forty-eight (48) hours of the off-the-record communication, a copy of all written off-the-record communications or memoranda prepared in compliance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section shall be delivered by the decisional employee to the Assistant Secretary and to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fuels Programs. The materials will then be made available for public inspection by placing them in the docket associated with the proceeding.

(5) Requests by a party for an opportunity to rebut, on the record, any facts or contentions in an off-the-record communication may be filed in writing with the Assistant Secretary. The Assistant Secretary shall grant such requests only for good cause.

(6) Upon being notified of an off-the-record communication made by a party in violation of this section, the Assistant Secretary may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice and the policies of the NGA and the DOE Act, require the party to show cause why the party's claim or interest in the proceeding should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise adversely affected on account of the violation.

(b) The prohibitions of paragraph (a) of the section shall apply only to contested proceedings and begin at the time either a protest or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention in opposition to the application or other requested action is filed with FE, or a party otherwise specifically notifies the Assistant Secretary and the other parties in writing of its opposition to the application or other requested action, whichever occurs first.

§590.109   FE investigations.

The Assistant Secretary or the Assistant Secretary's delegate may investigate any facts, conditions, practices, or other matters within the scope of this part in order to determine whether any person has violated or is about to violate any provision of the NGA or other statute or any rule, regulation, or order within the Assistant Secretary's jurisdiction. In conducting such investigations, the Assistant Secretary or the Assistant Secretary's delegate may, among other things, subpoena witnesses to testify, subpoena or otherwise require the submission of documents, and order testimony to be taken by deposition.

Subpart B—Applications for Authorization To Import or Export Natural Gas

§590.201   General.

(a) Any person seeking authorization to import or export natural gas into or from the United States, to amend an existing import or export authorization, or seeking any other requested action, shall file an application with the FE under the provisions of this part.

(b) Applications shall be filed at least ninety (90) days in advance of the proposed import or export or other requested action, unless a later date is permitted for good cause shown.

[54 FR 53531, Dec. 29, 1989; 55 FR 14916, Apr. 19, 1990]

§590.202   Contents of applications.

(a) Each application filed under §590.201 shall contain the exact legal name of the applicant, the names, titles, and mailing addresses of a maximum of two persons for the official service list, a statement describing the action sought from FE, the justification for such action, including why the proposed action is not inconsistent with the public interest, and the FE docket number, if applicable.

(b) Each application shall include the matters listed below to the extent applicable. All factual matters shall be supported to the extent practicable by the necessary data or documents. Copies of relevant documents filed or intended to be filed with FERC may be submitted to satisfy the requirements of this section. Topics to be addressed or described shall include:

(1) The scope of the project, including the volumes of natural gas involved, expressed in either Mcf or Bcf and their Btu equivalents, the dates of commencement and completion of the proposed import or export, and the facilities to be utilized or constructed;

(2) The source and security of the natural gas supply to be imported or exported, including contract volumes and a description of the gas reserves supporting the project during the term of the requested authorization;

(3) Identification of all the participants in the transaction, including the parent company, if any, and identification of any corporate or other affiliations among the participants;

(4) The terms of the transaction, such as take-or-pay obligations, make-up provisions, and other terms that affect the marketability of the gas;

(5) The provisions of the import arrangement which establish the base price, volume requirements, transportation and other costs, and allow adjustments during the life of the project, and a demonstration as to why the import arrangement is and will remain competitive over the life of the project and is otherwise not inconsistent with the public interest;

(6) For proposed imports, the need for the natural gas by the applicant or applicant's prospective customers, including a description of the persons who are expected to purchase the natural gas; and for proposed exports, the lack of a national or regional need for the gas; and

(7) The potential environmental impact of the project. To the extent possible, the application shall include a listing and description of any environmental assessments or studies being performed on the proposed gas project. The application shall be updated as the status of any environmental assessments changes.

(c) The application shall also have attached a statement, including a signed opinion of legal counsel, showing that a proposed import or export of natural gas is within the corporate powers of the applicant and a copy of all relevant contracts and purchase agreements.

(d) The Assistant Secretary or the Assistant Secretary's delegate may at any time require the applicant and other parties to make supplemental filings of additional information necessary to resolve issues raised by the application.

(e) All information and data filed in support of or against an application will be placed in the official FE docket file of the proceeding and will not be afforded confidential treatment, unless the party shows why the information or data should be exempted from public disclosure and the Assistant Secretary or Assistant Secretary's delegate determines that such information or data shall be afforded confidential treatment. Such determination shall be made in accordance with 10 CFR 1004.11.

[54 FR 53531, Dec. 29, 1989; 55 FR 18227, May 1, 1990]

§590.203   Deficient applications.

If an application is incomplete or otherwise deemed deficient, the Assistant Secretary or the Assistant Secretary's delegate may require the applicant to submit additional information or exhibits to remedy the deficiency. If the applicant does not remedy the deficiency within the time specified by the Assistant Secretary or the Assistant Secretary's delegate, the application may be dismissed without prejudice to refiling at another time.

§590.204   Amendment or withdrawal of applications.

(a) The applicant may amend or supplement the application at any time prior to issuance of the Assistant Secretary's final opinion and order resolving the application, and shall amend or supplement the application whenever there are changes in material facts or conditions upon which the proposal is based.

(b) The Assistant Secretary may for good cause shown by motion of a party or upon the Assistant Secretary's own initiative decline to act on, in whole or in part, an amendment or supplement requested by an applicant under paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) After written notice to FE and service upon the parties of that notice an applicant may withdraw an application. Such withdrawal shall be effective thirty (30) days after notice to FE if the Assistant Secretary does not issue an order to the contrary within that time period.

§590.205   Notice of applications.

(a) Upon receipt of an application, the FE shall publish a notice of application in the Federal Register. The notice shall summarize the proposal. Except in emergency circumstances, generally the notice shall provide a time limit of not less than thirty (30) days from the notice's date of publication in the Federal Register for persons to file protests, comments, or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as applicable. The notice may also request comments on specific issues or matters of fact, law, or policy raised by the application.

(b) The notice of application shall advise the parties of their right to request additional procedures, including the opportunity to file written comments and to request that a conference, oral presentation, or trial-type hearing be convened. Failure to request additional procedures at this time shall be deemed a waiver of any right to additional procedures should the Assistant Secretary decide to grant the application and authorize the import or export by issuing a final opinion and order in accordance with §590.316.

(c) Where negotiations between the DOE, including FE, and a foreign government have resulted in a formal policy agreement or statement affecting a particular import or export proceeding, FE shall include in the notice of application a description of the terms or policy positions of that agreement or statement to the extent they apply to the proceeding, and invite comment. A formal policy agreement or statement affecting a particular import or export proceeding that is arrived at after publication of the notice of application shall be placed on the record in that proceeding and the parties given an opportunity to comment thereon.

§590.206   Notice of procedures.

In all proceedings where, following a notice of application and the time specified in the notice for the filing of responses thereto, the Assistant Secretary determines to have additional procedures, which may consist of the filing of supplemental written comments, written interrogatories or other discovery procedures, a conference, oral presentation, or trial-type hearing, the Assistant Secretary shall provide the parties with notice of the procedures the Assistant Secretary has determined to follow in the proceeding and advise the parties of their right to request any additional procedures in accordance with the provisions of §590.310. The notice of procedures may identify and request comments on specific issues of fact, law, or policy relevant to the proceeding and may establish a time limit for requesting additional procedures.

§590.207   Filing fees.

A non-refundable filing fee of fifty dollars ($50) shall accompany each application filed under §590.201. Checks shall be made payable to “Treasury of the United States.”

§590.208   Small volume exports.

Any person may export up to 100,000 cubic feet of natural gas (14.73 pounds per square inch at 60 degrees Fahrenheit) or the liquefied or compressed equivalent thereof, in a single shipment for scientific, experimental, or other non-utility gas use without prior authorization of the Assistant Secretary.

§590.209   Exchanges by displacement.

Any importer of natural gas may enter into an exchange by displacement agreement without the prior authorization of the Assistant Secretary when the net effect of the exchange is no different than under the importer's existing authorization. An exchange by displacement is an arrangement whereby authorized imported volumes are displaced by other gas for purposes of storage or flexibility. The term of the exchange agreement may not exceed five (5) years, the volumes imported may not exceed the importer's existing import authorization, and no actual natural gas may flow across the United States border under the terms of the exchange agreement. Any importer who enters into an exchange agreement pursuant to this section shall file with FE within fifteen (15) days after the start up of the exchange, a written description of the transaction, the exact volume of natural gas to be displaced, the name of the purchaser, and the import authorization under which the exchange is being carried out.

Subpart C—Procedures

§590.301   General.

The procedures of this subpart are applicable to proceedings conducted on all applications or other requested actions filed under this part. The Assistant Secretary may conduct all aspects of the procedures of this subpart or may designate a presiding official pursuant to §590.314.

§590.302   Motions and answers.

(a) Motions for any procedural or interlocutory ruling shall set forth the ruling or relief requested and state the grounds and the statutory or other authority relied upon. All written motions shall comply with the filing requirements of §590.103. Motions made during conferences, oral presentations or trial-type hearings may be stated orally upon the record, unless the Assistant Secretary or the presiding official determines otherwise.

(b) Any party may file an answer to any written motion within fifteen (15) days after the motion is filed, unless another period of time is established by the Assistant Secretary or the presiding official. Answers shall be in writing and shall detail each material allegation of the motion being answered. Answers shall state clearly and concisely the facts and legal authorities relied upon.

(c) Any motion, except for motions seeking intervention or requesting that a conference, oral presentation or trial-type hearing be held, shall be deemed to have been denied, unless the Assistant Secretary or presiding official acts within thirty (30) days after the motion is filed.

§590.303   Interventions and answers.

(a) A state commission may intervene in a proceeding under this part as a matter of right and become a party to the proceeding by filing a notice of intervention no later than the date fixed for filing motions to intervene in the applicable FE notice or order. If the period for filing the notice has expired, a state commission may be permitted to intervene by complying with the filing and other requirements applicable to any other person seeking to become a party to the proceeding as provided in this section.

(b) Any other person who seeks to become a party to a proceeding shall file a motion to intervene, which sets out clearly and concisely the facts upon which the petitioner's claim of interest is based.

(c) A motion to intervene shall state, to the extent known, the position taken by the movant and the factual and legal basis for such positions in order to advise the parties and the Assistant Secretary as to the specific issues of policy, fact, or law to be raised or controverted.

(d) Motions to intervene may be filed at any time following the filing of an application, but no later than the date fixed for filing such motions or notices in the applicable FE notice or order, unless a later date is permitted by the Assistant Secretary for good cause shown and after considering the impact of granting the late motion of the proceeding. Each motion or notice shall list the names, titles, and mailing addresses of a maximum of two persons for the official service list.

(e) Any party may file an answer to a motion to intervene, but such answer shall be made within fifteen (15) days after the motion to intervene was filed, unless a later date is permitted by the Assistant Secretary for good cause shown. Answers shall be in writing. Answers shall detail each material allegation of the motion to intervene being answered and state clearly and concisely the facts and legal authorities relied upon. Failure to answer is deemed a waiver of any objection to the intervention. This paragraph does not prevent the Assistant Secretary from ruling on a motion to intervene and issuing a final opinion and order in accordance with §590.316 prior to the expiration of the fifteen (15) days in which a party has to answer a motion to intervene.

(f) If an answer in opposition to a motion to intervene is timely filed or if the motion to intervene is not timely filed, then the movant becomes a party only after the motion to intervene is expressly granted.

(g) If no answer in opposition to a motion to intervene is filed within the period of time prescribed in paragraph (e) of this section, the motion to intervene shall be deemed to be granted, unless the Assistant Secretary denies the motion in whole or in part or otherwise limits the intervention prior to the expiration of the time allowed in paragraph (e) for filing an answer to the motion to intervene. Where the motion to intervene is deemed granted, the participation of the intervenor shall be limited to matters affecting asserted rights and interests specifically set forth in the motion to intervene, and the admission of such intervenor to party status shall not be construed as recognition by FE that the intervenor might be aggrieved because of any order issued.

(h) In the event that a motion for late intervention is granted, an intervenor shall accept the record of the proceeding as it was developed prior to the intervention.

§590.304   Protests and answers.

(a) Any person objecting to an application filed under §590.201 of this part or to any action taken by FE under this part may file a protest. No particular form is required. The protest shall identify the person filing the protest, the application or action being objected to, and provide a concise statement of the reasons for the protest.

(b) The filing of a protest, without also filing a motion to intervene or a notice of intervention, shall not make the person filing the protest a party to the proceeding.

(c) A protest shall be made part of the official FE docket file in the proceeding and shall be considered as a statement of position of the person filing the protest, but not as establishing the validity of any assertion upon which the decision would be based.

(d) Protests shall be served on the applicant and all parties by the person filing the protest. If the person filing the protest is unable to provide service on any person identified as a party to the proceeding after a good faith effort, then FE shall effect service. However, when the parties are not known, service requirements may be met by serving a copy on the applicant and on FE as provided in §590.107(b).

(e) Protests may be filed at any time following the filing of an application, but no later than the date fixed for filing protests in the applicable FE notice or order, unless a later date is permitted by the Assistant Secretary for good cause shown.

(f) Any party may file an answer to a protest but such answer must be filed within fifteen (15) days after the protest was filed, unless a later date is permitted by the Assistant Secretary for good cause shown.

[54 FR 53531, Dec. 29, 1989; 55 FR 14916, Apr. 19, 1990]

§590.305   Informal discovery.

The parties to a proceeding may conduct discovery through use of procedures such as written interrogatories or production of documents. In response to a motion by a party, the Assistant Secretary or presiding official may determine the procedures to be utilized for discovery if the parties cannot agree on such procedures.

§590.306   Subpoenas.

(a) Subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses at a trial-type hearing or for the production of documentary evidence may be issued upon the initiative of the Assistant Secretary or presiding official, or upon written motion of a party or oral motion of a party during a conference, oral presentation, or trial-type hearing, if the Assistant Secretary or presiding official determines that the evidence sought is relevant and material.

(b) Motions for the issuance of a subpoena shall specify the relevance, materiality, and scope of the testimony or documentary evidence sought, including, as to documentary evidence, specification to the extent possible of the documents sought and the facts to be proven by them, the issues to which they relate, and why the information or evidence was not obtainable through discovery procedures agreed upon by the parties.

(c) If service of a subpoena is made by a United States Marshal or a Deputy United States Marshal, service shall be evidenced by their return. If made by another person, that person shall affirm that service has occurred and file an affidavit to that effect with the original subpoena. A witness who is subpoenaed shall be entitled to witness fees as provided in §590.315(c).

§590.307   Depositions.

(a) Upon motion filed by a party, the Assistant Secretary or presiding official may authorize the taking of testimony of any witness by deposition. Unless otherwise directed in the authorization issued, a witness being deposed may be examined regarding any matter which is relevant to the issues involved in the pending proceeding.

(b) Parties authorized to take a deposition shall provide written notice to the witness and all other parties at least ten (10) days in advance of the deposition unless such advance notice is waived by mutual agreement of the parties.

(c) The requesting motion and notice shall state the name and mailing address of the witness, delineate the subject matters on which the witness is expected to testify, state the reason why the deposition should be taken, indicate the time and place of the deposition, and provide the name and mailing address of the person taking the deposition.

(d) A witness whose testimony is taken by deposition shall be sworn in or shall affirm concerning the matter about which the witness has been called to testify before any questions are asked or testimony given. A witness deposed shall be entitled to witness fees as provided in §590.315(c).

(e) The moving party shall file the entire deposition with FE after it has been subscribed and certified. No portion of the deposition shall constitute a part of the record in the proceedings unless received in evidence, in whole or in part, by the Assistant Secretary or presiding official.

§590.308   Admissions of facts.

(a) At any time prior to the end of a trial-type hearing, or, if there is no trial-type hearing, prior to the issuance of a final opinion and order under §590.404, any party, the Assistant Secretary, or the presiding official may serve on any party a written request for admission of the truth of any matters at issue in the proceeding that relate to statements or opinions of fact or of the application of law to fact.

(b) A matter shall be considered admitted and conclusively established for the purposes of any proceeding in which a request for admission is served unless, within fifteen (15) days of such time limit established by the Assistant Secretary or presiding official, the party to whom the request is directed answers or objects to the request. Any answer shall specifically admit or deny the matter, or set forth in detail the reasons why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. An answering party may not give lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit or deny, unless the answering party states that, after reasonable inquiry, the answering party has been unable to obtain sufficient information to admit or deny. If an objection is made, the answering party shall state the reasons for the objection.

(c) If the Assistant Secretary or presiding official determines that an answer to a request for admission does not comply with the requirements of this section, the Assistant Secretary or presiding official may order either that the matter is admitted or that an amended answer be served.

(d) A copy of all requests for admission and answers thereto shall be filed with FE in accordance with §590.103. Copies of any documents referenced in the request shall be served with the request unless they are known to be in the possession of the other parties.

(e) The Assistant Secretary or presiding official may limit the number of requests for admission of facts in order to expedite a proceeding through elimination of duplicative requests.

§590.309   Settlements.

The parties may conduct settlement negotiations. If settlement negotiations are conducted during a conference, at the request of one of the parties, the Assistant Secretary or presiding official may order that the discussions be off-the-record with no transcript of such settlement negotiations being prepared for inclusion in the official record of the proceeding. No offer of settlement, comment or discussion by the parties with respect to an offer of settlement shall be subject to discovery or admissible into evidence against any parties who object to its admission.

§590.310   Opportunity for additional procedures.

Any party may file a motion requesting additional procedures, including the opportunity to file written comments, request written interrogatories or other discovery procedures, or request that a conference, oral presentation or trial-type hearing be held. The motion shall describe what type of procedure is requested and include the information required by §§590.311, 590.312 and 590.313, as appropriate. Failure to request additional procedures within the time specified in the notice of application or in the notice of procedure, if applicable, shall constitute a waiver of that right unless the Assistant Secretary for good cause shown grants additional time for requesting additional procedures. If no time limit is specified in the notice or order, additional procedures may be requested at any time prior to the issuance of a final opinion and order. At any time during a proceeding, the Assistant Secretary or presiding official may on his or her own initiative determine to provide additional procedures.

[54 FR 53531, Dec. 29, 1989; 55 FR 14916, Apr. 19, 1990]

§590.311   Conferences.

(a) Upon motion by a party, a conference of the parties may be convened to adjust or settle the proceedings, set schedules, delineate issues, stipulate certain issues of fact or law, set procedures, and consider other relevant matters where it appears that a conference will materially advance the proceeding. The Assistant Secretary or presiding official may delineate the issues which are to be considered and may place appropriate limitations on the number of intervenors who may participate, if two or more intervenors have substantially like interests.

(b) A motion by a party for a conference shall include a specific showing why a conference will materially advance the proceeding.

(c) Conferences shall be recorded, unless otherwise ordered by the Assistant Secretary or presiding official, and the transcript shall be made a part of the official record of the proceeding and available to the public.

§590.312   Oral presentations.

(a) Any party may file a motion requesting an opportunity to make an oral presentation of views, arguments, including arguments of counsel, and data on any aspect of the proceeding. The motion shall identify the substantial question of fact, law or policy at issue and demonstrate that it is material and relevant to the merits of the proceeding. The party may submit material supporting the existence of substantial issues. The Assistant Secretary or presiding official ordinarily will grant a party's motion for an oral presentation, if the Assistant Secretary or presiding official determines that a substantial question of fact, law, or policy is at issue in the proceeding and illumination of that question will be aided materially by such an oral presentation.

(b) The Assistant Secretary or presiding official may require parties making oral presentations to file briefs or other documents prior to the oral presentation. The Assistant Secretary or presiding official also may delineate the issues that are to be considered at the oral presentation and place appropriate limitations on the number of intervenors who may participate if two or more intervenors have substantially like interests.

(c) Oral presentations shall be conducted in an informal manner with the Assistant Secretary or the presiding official and other decisional employees presiding as a panel. The panel may question those parties making an oral presentation. Cross-examination by the parties and other more formal procedures used in trial-type hearings will not be available in oral presentations. The oral presentation may be, but need not be, made by legal counsel.

(d) Oral presentations shall be recorded, and the transcript shall be made part of the official record of the proceeding and available to the public.

§590.313   Trial-type hearings.

(a) Any party may file a motion for a trial-type hearing for the purpose of taking evidence on relevant and material issues of fact genuinely in dispute in the proceeding. The motion shall identify the factual issues in dispute and the evidence that will be presented. The party must demonstrate that the issues are genuinely in dispute, relevant and material to the decision and that a trial-type hearing is necessary for a full and true disclosure of the facts. The Assistant Secretary or presiding official shall grant a party's motion for a trial-type hearing, if the Assistant Secretary or presiding official determines that there is a relevant and material factual issue genuinely in dispute and that a trial-type hearing is necessary for a full and true disclosure of the facts.

(b) In trial-type hearings, the parties shall have the right to be represented by counsel, to request discovery, to present the direct and rebuttal testimony of witnesses, to cross-examine witnesses under oath, and to present documentary evidence.

(c) The Assistant Secretary or presiding official upon his or her own initiative or upon the motion of any party may consolidate any proceedings involving common questions of fact in whole or in part for a trial-type hearing. The Assistant Secretary or presiding official may also place appropriate limitations on the number of intervenors who may participate if two or more intervenors have substantially like interests.

(d) The Assistant Secretary or presiding official may make such rulings for trial-type hearings, including delineation of the issues and limitation of cross-examination of a witness, as are necessary to obtain a full and true disclosure of the facts and to limit irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence.

(e) At trial-type hearings, the Assistant Secretary or presiding official, or any other decisional employee directed by the Assistant Secretary or presiding official, may call witnesses for testimony or presenting exhibits that directly relate to a particular issue of fact to be considered at the hearing. The Assistant Secretary or presiding official, or any other decisional employee directed by the Assistant Secretary or presiding official, may also question witnesses offered by the parties concerning their testimony.

(f) Trial-type hearings shall be recorded, and the transcript shall be made part of the official record of the proceeding and available to the public.

§590.314   Presiding officials.

(a) The Assistant Secretary may designate a presiding official to conduct any stage of the proceeding, including officiating at a conference, oral presentation, or trial-type hearing. The presiding official shall have the full authority of the Assistant Secretary during such proceedings.

(b) A presiding official at a conference, oral presentation, or trial-type hearing shall have the authority to regulate the conduct of the proceeding including, but not limited to, determination of the issues to be raised during the course of the conference, oral presentation, or trial-type hearing, administering oaths or affirmations, directing discovery, ruling on objections to the presentation of testimony or exhibits, receiving relevant and material evidence, requiring the advance submission of written testimony and exhibits, ruling on motions, determining the format, directing that briefs be filed with respect to issues raised or to be raised during the course of the conference, oral presentation or trial-type hearing, questioning witnesses, taking reasonable measures to exclude duplicative material, and placing limitations on the number of witnesses to be called by a party.

§590.315   Witnesses.

(a) The Assistant Secretary or presiding official may require that the direct testimony of witnesses in trial-type hearings be submitted in advance of the hearing and be under oath, and in written form.

(b) Witnesses who testify in trial-type hearings shall be under oath or affirmation before being allowed to testify.

(c) Witnesses subpoenaed pursuant to §590.306 shall be paid the same fees and mileage as paid for like services in the District Courts of the United States.

(d) Witnesses subpoenaed pursuant to §590.307 shall be paid the same fees and mileage as paid for like services in the District Court of the United States.

[54 FR 53531, Dec. 29, 1989; 55 FR 14916, Apr. 19, 1990]

§590.316   Shortened proceedings.

In any proceeding where, in response to a notice of application or notice of procedures, if applicable, no party files a motion requesting additional procedures, including the right to file written comments, or the holding of a conference, oral presentation, or trial-type hearing, or where the Assistant Secretary determines that such requested additional procedures are not required pursuant to §§590.310, 590.311, 590.312 and 590.313, the Assistant Secretary may issue a final opinion and order on the basis of the official record, including the application and all other filings. In any proceeding in which the Assistant Secretary intends to deny the application or grant the application with the attachment of material conditions unknown to, or likely to be opposed by, the applicant, solely on the basis of the application and responses to the notice of application or notice of procedures, if applicable, without additional procedures, the Assistant Secretary shall advise the parties in writing generally of the issues of concern to the Assistant Secretary upon which the denial or material conditions would be based and provide them with an opportunity to request additional procedures pursuant to §§590.310, 590.311, 590.312 and 590.313.

§590.317   Complaints.

(a) Any person may file a complaint objecting to the actions by any other person under any statute, rule, order or authorization applicable to an existing import or export authorization over which FE has jurisdiction. No particular form is required. The complaint must be filed with FE in writing and must contain the name and address of the complainant and the respondent and state the facts forming the basis of the complaint.

(b) A complaint concerning an existing import or export authorization shall be served on all parties to the original import or export authorization proceeding either by the complainant or by FE if the complainant has made a good faith effort but has been unable to effect service.

(c) The Assistant Secretary may issue an order to show cause under §590.401, or may provide opportunity for additional procedures pursuant to §§590.310, 590.311, 590.312, or §590.313, in order to determine what action should be taken in response to the complaint.

Subpart D—Opinions and Orders

§590.401   Orders to show cause.

A proceeding under this part may commence upon the initiative of the Assistant Secretary or in response to an application by any person requesting FE action against any other person alleged to be in contravention or violation of any authorization, statute, rule, order, or law administered by FE applicable to the import or export of natural gas, or for any other alleged wrong involving importation or exportation of natural gas over which FE has jurisdiction. Any show cause order issued shall identify the matters of interest or the matters complained of that the Assistant Secretary is inquiring about, and shall be deemed to be tentative and for the purpose of framing issues for consideration and decision. The respondent named in the order shall respond orally or in writing, or both, as required by the order. A show cause order is not a final opinion and order.

§590.402   Conditional orders.

The Assistant Secretary may issue a conditional order at any time during a proceeding prior to issuance of a final opinion and order. The conditional order shall include the basis for not issuing a final opinion and order at that time and a statement of findings and conclusions. The findings and conclusions shall be based solely on the official record of the proceeding.

§590.403   Emergency interim orders.

Where consistent with the public interest, the Assistant Secretary may waive further procedures and issue an emergency interim order authorizing the import or export of natural gas. After issuance of the emergency interim order, the proceeding shall be continued until the record is complete, at which time a final opinion and order shall be issued. The Assistant Secretary may attach necessary or appropriate terms and conditions to the emergency interim order to ensure that the authorized action will be consistent with the public interest.

§590.404   Final opinions and orders.

The Assistant Secretary shall issue a final opinion and order and attach such conditions thereto as may be required by the public interest after completion and review of the record. The final opinion and order shall be based solely on the official record of the proceeding and include a statement of findings and conclusions, as well as the reasons or basis for them, and the appropriate order, condition, sanction, relief or denial.

§590.405   Transferability.

Authorizations by the Assistant Secretary to import or export natural gas shall not be transferable or assignable, unless specifically authorized by the Assistant Secretary.

§590.406   Compliance with orders.

Any person required or authorized to take any action by a final opinion and order of the Assistant Secretary shall file with FE, within thirty (30) days after the requirement or authorization becomes effective, a notice, under oath, that such requirement has been complied with or such authorization accepted or otherwise acted upon, unless otherwise specified in the order.

§590.407   Reports of changes.

Any person authorized to import or export natural gas has a continuing obligation to give the Assistant Secretary written notification, as soon as practicable, of any prospective or actual changes to the information submitted during the application process upon which the authorization was based, including, but not limited to, changes to: The parties involved in the import or export arrangement, the terms and conditions of any applicable contracts, the place of entry or exit, the transporters, the volumes accepted or offered, or the import or export price. Any notification filed under this section shall contain the FE docket number(s) to which it relates. Compliance with this section does not relieve an importer or exporter from responsibility to file the appropriate application to amend a previous import or export authorization under this part whenever such changes are contrary to or otherwise not permitted by the existing authorization.

Subpart E—Applications for Rehearing

§590.501   Filing.

(a) An application for rehearing of a final opinion and order, conditional order, or emergency interim order may be filed by any party aggrieved by the issuance of such opinion and order within thirty (30) days after issuance. The application shall be served on all parties.

(b) The application shall state concisely the alleged errors in the final opinion and order, conditional order, or emergency interim order and must set forth specifically the ground or grounds upon which the application is based. If an order is sought to be vacated, reversed, or modified by reason of matters that have arisen since the issuance of the final opinion and order, conditional order, or emergency interim order, the matters relied upon shall be set forth with specificity in the application. The application shall also comply with the filing requirements of §590.103.

§590.502   Application is not a stay.

The filing of an application for rehearing does not operate as a stay of the Assistant Secretary's order, unless specifically ordered by the Assistant Secretary.

§590.503   Opinion and order on rehearing.

Upon application for rehearing, the Assistant Secretary may grant or deny rehearing or may abrogate or modify the final opinion and order, conditional order, or emergency interim order with or without further proceedings.

§590.504   Denial by operation of law.

Unless the Assistant Secretary acts upon the application for rehearing within thirty (30) days after it is filed, it is deemed to be denied. Such denial shall constitute final agency action for the purpose of judicial review.

§590.505   Answers to applications for rehearing.

No answers to applications for rehearing shall be entertained. Prior to the issuance of any final opinion and order on rehearing, however, the Assistant Secretary may afford the parties an opportunity to file briefs or answers and may order that a conference, oral presentation, or trial-type hearing be held on some or all of the issues presented by an application for rehearing.



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