Reed Smith Client Alerts

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has recently taken important steps to permit the Southeast Market Pipelines Project (Project) to continue to provide service without interruption following last summer’s decision by the D.C. Circuit to vacate FERC’s orders authorizing the Project’s construction and operation. FERC issued an updated Environmental Impact Statement on February 5, 2018, concluding that while the Project will lead to increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Project will not have a significant effect on the environment. On February 6, 2018, FERC asked the D.C. Circuit to delay issuing the mandate of its earlier order for 45 days to provide FERC adequate time to issue an order on remand. The filing of the motion is likely to delay the court’s issuance of the mandate while the court considers the merits of the motion.

The Project is made up of three separate, but inter-related interstate natural gas pipeline projects: the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company Hillabee project, the Sabal Trail Transmission LLC project, and the Florida Southeast Connection LLC project. The Project consists of approximately 685 miles of pipeline and appurtenant facilities and is designed to deliver natural gas to Florida. In large part, the natural gas will be used to generate electricity for Florida consumers. FERC issued orders granting certificates of public convenience and necessity authorizing the Project sponsors to construct and operate the Project facilities in 2016. The Sierra Club, among other parties, sought judicial review of FERC’s orders certificating the Project.