Federal Regulatory Agencies

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
See: http://www.ferc.gov/about/ferc-does.asp

The FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects.

As part of that responsibility, FERC:

  • Regulates the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce;
  • Regulates the transmission and sale of natural gas for resale in interstate commerce;
  • Regulates the transportation of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce;
  • Approves the siting and abandonment of interstate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities;
  • Reviews the siting application for electric transmission projects under limited circumstances;
  • Ensures the safe operation and reliability of proposed and operating LNG terminals;
  • Licenses and inspects private, municipal, and state hydroelectric projects;
  • Monitors and investigates energy markets;
  • Enforces FERC regulatory requirements through imposition of civil penalties and other means;
  • Oversees environmental matters related to natural gas and hydroelectricity projects and other matters

Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
See: http://phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/enforcement

The U.S. Department of Transportation's PHMSA is the Federal agency responsible for ensuring safety in the design, construction, operation and maintenance, and spill response planning of natural gas and liquid transportation pipelines. The federal government establishes minimum pipeline safety standards under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 49, Parts 190-199. The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) within PHMSA has overall regulatory responsibility for hazardous liquid and natural gas pipelines under its jurisdiction in the United States. PHMSA's Pipeline Safety Enforcement Program is designed to monitor and enforce compliance with pipeline safety regulations and confirm operators are meeting PHMSA expectations for safe, reliable and environmentally sound operation of their facilities.

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