US looks to shorten review process for LNG facilities

Image courtesy of USCG press via Wikimedia Commons
Image courtesy of USCG press via Wikimedia Commons

Two major US agencies are looking to streamline the safety review and permitting process for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility proposals.

The US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have announced agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) ‘that would refine and shorten the permit application process for proposed LNG facilities’, according to a statement.

“PHSMA is pleased to work with FERC to advance critical infrastructure projects that support our nation’s growing energy dominance in the safest and most efficient way possible,” said PHMSA Administrator Skip Elliott.

The upcoming MOU was announced by FERC’s chairman, Kevin McIntyre, on 19 July. According to a PHSMA statement, the Memorandum will clarify each agency’s respective role in the permitting process for potential LNG projects and implement procedures into FERC’s authorisation process that leverage PHSMA’s safety expertise to evaluate potential impact to public safety.

PHSMA develops regulations for the safe operation of the US’ 2.7 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea and air.

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. 

Image courtesy of USCG press via Wikimedia Commons