The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead federal agency in charge of overseeing the permitting process for interstate natural gas transmission pipelines.
To guide its decision making process, FERC will conduct a comprehensive environmental review of the project, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Throughout this process, FERC will work closely with other federal, state, and local agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, among others. Landowners and the general public will also have numerous opportunities to participate in the process by attending public meetings and providing public comments to FERC.
Before the formal environmental review of the project begins, NEXUS will spend approximately an entire year engaging with and gathering input from impacted stakeholders in what is known as the FERC Pre-File process. Once the Pre-File process is completed toward the end of 2015, NEXUS will file an Application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with FERC, which will initiate the formal environmental review of the project. The Application will describe the purpose and commercial need for the project, the transportation rate to be charged to customers, proposed project facilities, and how the company will comply with all applicable regulatory requirements. NEXUS will evaluate project alternatives, identify a preferred route, and complete a thorough environmental analysis.
FERC will then review the Application in order to evaluate the need, proposed facility locations, and overall impact of project construction and operation, and will summarize its findings in an Environmental Impact Statement. Should FERC determine that the project is necessary and appropriate, it will issue a Certificate authorizing construction of the NEXUS project.
Below is a brief summary of the key phases of the permitting process for the NEXUS project.