June 15, 2020

New FERC Order Gives Landowners Chance To Slow Pipeline Projects

On June 9, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released a new order that gives private landowners whose property is subject to eminent domain proceedings the right to challenge FERC “convenience and necessity” determinations regarding new infrastructure projects, including energy pipelines. The order also says FERC will withhold authorization to proceed with construction until it has acted on the request.

Before this order was released, FERC would issue authorizations to proceed with construction, including on lands subject to eminent domain challenges, while the challenge was being considered.

While FERC said it would “strive to act…within 30 days” on a given challenge, the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance, which the Metals Service Center Institute is a member of, believes that this order opens the door to objecting landowners coordinating and stringing together multiple sequential challenges, potentially slowing construction starts significantly.

The summary of the order can be found here.