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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 16, 2014

Title 18: Conservation of Power and Water Resources
PART 157—APPLICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATES OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY AND FOR ORDERS PERMITTING AND APPROVING ABANDONMENT UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE NATURAL GAS ACT
Subpart A—Applications for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity and for Orders Permitting and Approving Abandonment under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act, as Amended, Concerning Any Operation, Sales, Service, Construction, Extension, Acquisition or Abandonment


§157.21   Pre-filing procedures and review process for LNG terminal facilities and other natural gas facilities prior to filing of applications.

(a) LNG terminal facilities and related jurisdictional natural gas facilities. A prospective applicant for authorization to site, construct and operate facilities included within the definition of “LNG terminal,” as defined in §153.2(d), and any prospective applicant for related jurisdictional natural gas facilities must comply with this section's pre-filing procedures and review process. These mandatory pre-filing procedures also shall apply when the Director finds in accordance with paragraph (e)(2) of this section that prospective modifications to an existing LNG terminal are modifications that involve significant state and local safety considerations that have not been previously addressed. Examples of such modifications include, but are not limited to, the addition of LNG storage tanks; increasing throughput requiring additional tanker arrivals or the use of larger vessels; or changing the purpose of the facility from peaking to base load. When a prospective applicant is required by this paragraph to comply with this section's pre-filing procedures:

(1) The prospective applicant must make a filing containing the material identified in paragraph (d) of this section and concurrently file a Letter of Intent pursuant to 33 CFR 127.007, and a Preliminary Waterway Suitability Assessment (WSA) with the U.S. Coast Guard (Captain of the Port/Federal Maritime Security Coordinator). The latest information concerning the documents to be filed with the Coast Guard should be requested from the U.S. Coast Guard. For modifications to an existing or approved LNG terminal, this requirement can be satisfied by the prospective applicant's certifying that the U.S. Coast Guard did not require such information.

(2) An application:

(i) Shall not be filed until at least 180 days after the date that the Director issues notice pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section of the commencement of the prospective applicant's pre-filing process; and

(ii) Shall contain all the information specified by the Commission staff after reviewing the draft materials filed by the prospective applicant during the pre-filing process, including required environmental material in accordance with the provisions of part 380 of this chapter, “Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act.”

(3) The prospective applicant must provide sufficient information for the pre-filing review of any pipeline or other natural gas facilities, including facilities not subject to the Commission's Natural Gas Act jurisdiction, which are necessary to transport regassified LNG from the subject LNG terminal facilities to the existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure.

(b) Other natural gas facilities. When a prospective applicant for authorization for natural gas facilities is not required by paragraph (a) of this section to comply with this section's pre-filing procedures, the prospective applicant may file a request seeking approval to use the pre-filing procedures.

(1) A request to use the pre-filing procedures must contain the material identified in paragraph (d) of this section unless otherwise specified by the Director as a result of the Initial Consultation required pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subsection; and

(2) If a prospective applicant for non-LNG terminal facilities is approved to use this section's pre-filing procedures:

(i) The application will normally not be filed until at least 180 days after the date that the Director issues notice pursuant to paragraph (e)(3) of this section approving the prospective applicant's request to use the pre-filing procedures under this section and commencing the prospective applicant's pre-filing process. However, a prospective applicant approved by the Director pursuant to paragraph (e)(3) of this section to undertake the pre-filing process is not prohibited from filing an application at an earlier date, if necessary; and

(ii) The application shall contain all the information specified by the Commission staff after reviewing the draft materials filed by the prospective applicant during the pre-filing process, including required environmental material in accordance with the provisions of part 380 of this chapter, “Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act.”

(c) Initial consultation. A prospective applicant required or potentially required or requesting to use the pre-filing process must first consult with the Director on the nature of the project, the content of the pre-filing request, and the status of the prospective applicant's progress toward obtaining the information required for the pre-filing request described in paragraph (d) of this section. This consultation will also include discussion of the specifications for the applicant's solicitation for prospective third-party contractors to prepare the environmental documentation for the project, and whether a third-party contractor is likely to be needed for the project.

(d) Contents of the initial filing. A prospective applicant's initial filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of the section for LNG terminal facilities and related jurisdictional natural gas facilities or paragraph (b)(1) of this section for other natural gas facilities shall include the following information:

(1) A description of the schedule desired for the project including the expected application filing date and the desired date for Commission approval.

(2) For LNG terminal facilities, a description of the zoning and availability of the proposed site and marine facility location.

(3) For natural gas facilities other than LNG terminal facilities and related jurisdictional natural gas facilities, an explanation of why the prospective applicant is requesting to use the pre-filing process under this section.

(4) A detailed description of the project, including location maps and plot plans to scale showing all major plant components, that will serve as the initial discussion point for stakeholder review.

(5) A list of the relevant federal and state agencies in the project area with permitting requirements. For LNG terminal facilities, the list shall identify the agency designated by the governor of the state in which the project will be located to consult with the Commission regarding state and local safety considerations. The filing shall include a statement indicating:

(i) That those agencies are aware of the prospective applicant's intention to use the pre-filing process (including contact names and telephone numbers);

(ii) Whether the agencies have agreed to participate in the process;

(iii) How the applicant has accounted for agency schedules for issuance of federal authorizations; and

(iv) When the applicant proposes to file with these agencies for their respective permits or other authorizations.

(6) A list and description of the interest of other persons and organizations who have been contacted about the project (including contact names and telephone numbers).

(7) A description of what work has already been done, e.g., contacting stakeholders, agency consultations, project engineering, route planning, environmental and engineering contractor engagement, environmental surveys/studies, and open houses. This description shall also include the identification of the environmental and engineering firms and sub-contractors under contract to develop the project.

(8) For LNG terminal projects, proposals for at least three prospective third-party contractors from which Commission staff may make a selection to assist in the preparation of the requisite NEPA document.

(9) For natural gas facilities other than LNG terminal facilities and related jurisdictional natural gas facilities, proposals for at least three prospective third-party contractors from which Commission staff may make a selection to assist in the preparation of the requisite NEPA document, or a proposal for the submission of an applicant-prepared draft Environmental Assessment as determined during the initial consultation described in paragraph (c) of this section.

(10) Acknowledgement that a complete Environmental Report and complete application are required at the time of filing.

(11) A description of a Public Participation Plan which identifies specific tools and actions to facilitate stakeholder communications and public information, including a project website and a single point of contact. This plan shall also describe how the applicant intends to respond to requests for information from federal and state permitting agencies, including, if applicable, the governor's designated agency for consultation regarding state and local safety considerations with respect to LNG facilities.

(12) Certification that a Letter of Intent and a Preliminary WSA have been submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard or, for modifications to an existing or approved LNG terminal, that the U.S. Coast Guard did not require such information.

(e) Director's notices. (1) When the Director finds that a prospective applicant for authority to site and construct a new LNG terminal has adequately addressed the requirements of paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of this section, the Director shall issue a notice of such finding. Such notice shall designate the third-party contractor. The pre-filing process shall be deemed to have commenced on the date of the Director's notice, and the date of such notice shall be used in determining whether the date an application is filed is at least 180 days after commencement of the pre-filing process.

(2) When the Director finds that a prospective applicant for authority to make modifications to an existing or approved LNG terminal has adequately addressed the requirements of paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of this section, the Director shall issue a notice making a determination whether prospective modifications to an existing LNG terminal shall be subject to this section's pre-filing procedures and review process. Such notice shall designate the third-party contractor, if appropriate. If the Director determines that the prospective modifications are significant modifications that involve state and local safety considerations, the Director's notice will state that the pre-filing procedures shall apply, and the pre-filing process shall be deemed to have commenced on the date of the Director's notice in determining whether the date an application is filed is at least 180 days after commencement of the pre-filing process.

(3) When a prospective applicant requests to use this section's pre-filing procedures and review for facilities not potentially subject to this section's mandatory requirements, the Director shall issue a notice approving or disapproving use of the pre-filing procedures of this section and determining whether the prospective applicant has adequately addressed the requirements of paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section. Such notice shall designate the third-party contractor, if appropriate. The pre-filing process shall be deemed to have commenced on the date of the Director's notice, and the date of such notice shall be used in determining whether the date an application is filed is at least 180 days after commencement of the pre-filing process.

(f) Upon the Director's issuance of a notice commencing a prospective applicant's pre-filing process, the prospective applicant must:

(1) Within seven days and after consultation with Commission staff, establish the dates and locations at which the prospective applicant will conduct open houses and meetings with stakeholders (including agencies) and Commission staff.

(2) Within 14 days, conclude the contract with the selected third-party contractor.

(3) Within 14 days, contact all stakeholders not already informed about the project, including all affected landowners as defined in paragraph §157.6(d)(2) of this section.

(4) Within 30 days, submit a stakeholder mailing list to Commission staff.

(5) Within 30 days, file a draft of Resource Report 1, in accordance with §380.12(c), and a summary of the alternatives considered or under consideration.

(6) On a monthly basis, file status reports detailing the applicant's project activities including surveys, stakeholder communications, and agency meetings.

(7) Be prepared to provide a description of the proposed project and to answer questions from the public at the scoping meetings held by OEP staff.

(8) Be prepared to attend site visits and other stakeholder and agency meetings arranged by the Commission staff, as required.

(9) Within 14 days of the end of the scoping comment period, respond to issues raised during scoping.

(10) Within 60 days of the end of the scoping comment period, file draft Resource Reports 1 through 12.

(11) At least 60 days prior to filing an application, file revised draft Resource Reports 1 through 12, if requested by Commission staff.

(12) At least 90 days prior to filing an application, file draft Resource Report 13 (for LNG terminal facilities).

(13) Certify that a Follow-on WSA will be submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard no later than the filing of an application with the Commission (for LNG terminal facilities and modifications thereto, if appropriate). The applicant shall certify that the U.S. Coast Guard has indicated that a Follow-On WSA is not required, if appropriate.

(g) Commission staff and third-party contractor involvement during the pre-filing process will be designed to fit each project and will include some or all of the following:

(1) Assisting the prospective applicant in developing initial information about the proposal and identifying affected parties (including landowners, agencies, and other interested parties).

(2) Issuing an environmental scoping notice and conducting such scoping for the proposal.

(3) Facilitating issue identification and resolution.

(4) Conducting site visits, examining alternatives, meeting with agencies and stakeholders, and participating in the prospective applicant's public information meetings.

(5) Reviewing draft Resource Reports.

(6) Initiating the preparation of a preliminary Environmental Assessment or Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the preparation of which may involve cooperating agency review.

(h) A prospective applicant using the pre-filing procedures of this section shall comply with the procedures in §388.112 of this chapter for the submission of documents containing privileged materials or critical energy infrastructure information.

[Order 665, 70 FR 60440, Oct. 18, 2005, as amended by Order 756, 77 FR 4894, Feb. 1, 2012; Order 769, 77 FR 65475, Oct. 29, 2012]



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