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PHMSA, FERC Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Strengthen Safety Review and Permitting Process for LNG Facility Proposals

Friday, August 31, 2018

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced today that the two agencies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will expedite coordination between the agencies during the permit application review process for proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities.

“The Department is committed to eliminating unnecessary delays to the advancement of critical national energy infrastructure projects, while never compromising safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The MOU clarifies each agency’s responsibilities related to the application review process for potential LNG projects, including PHMSA’s review for compliance with the siting requirements contained in Part 193 of the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations.  PHMSA will encapsulate its findings in a Letter of Determination, which FERC will accept as the authoritative determination of a proposed facility’s ability to comply with safety regulations.

“PHMSA’s LNG safety experts are fully prepared to analyze current and future project proposals, evaluate their potential impact on public safety, and reduce barriers to moving these projects forward,” said PHMSA Administrator Skip Elliott.

The agreement also refines information-sharing practices between the agencies, including all documents, information, and data submitted by facility applicants.

The MOU was initially announced by FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre during opening remarks for the July 19 Commission meeting at FERC headquarters.

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About PHMSA

The mission of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives.  PHMSA develops and enforces regulations for the safe operation of the nation's 2.6-million-mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit http://phmsa.dot.gov or https://twitter.com/PHMSA_DOT for more information.

Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2018