FERC Update – Catching Up with FERC After a Year+ of Masking and Vaxxing
In the Technical Conference on Environmental Engineering & Permitting Construction closing keynote discussion on September 15th, FERC staff will present several notable changes, challenges, and policies within the Commission as well as within other government agencies that affect how the FERC’s Division of Gas — Environment and Engineering reviews applications for natural gas projects. Topics will include the Division’s recent and ongoing environmental oversight taking into account COVID restrictions; an introduction to the Commission’s new Office of Public Participation; the new regulations concerning Clean Water Act permitting and NEPA processing; FERC’s NEPA reviews that include augmented greenhouse gas, climate change, and environmental justice discussions; the implications of FERC’s “Rule 871”; and current construction and compliance issues, including requests for nighttime construction.
Chief, Gas Branch 4
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Dave Swearingen is a Branch Chief in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, Division of Gas – Environment and Engineering. Dave graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, specializing in coral reef ecology. Dave is a Gulf War veteran (combat medic with a MASH unit) and has taught biology and ecology-related classes at the community college and university levels. Dave has been with the FERC since 1999.
Dave has considerable experience with NEPA and managed several major interstate natural gas pipeline projects that required extensive multi-state environmental review and interagency coordination, including the 713-mile-long Rockies Express West Pipeline Project and the 677-mile-long Ruby Pipeline Project. In his role as supervisor, he has overseen the environmental review of numerous large-scale projects, such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Mountaineer XPress, Rover, and several large-scale LNG/pipeline combination projects. He also is a FERC representative on various agency/policy working groups regarding potential new environmental regulations; and he gives frequent presentations around the country regarding FERC natural gas environmental policies and review processes, stakeholder issues, and interagency cooperation.
Session Learning Objectives – To understand recent changes to FERC policies regarding greenhouse gas, climate change, and environmental justice; FERC’s approach to Notices to Proceed during periods of active Rehearing (“Rule 871”); and how the Division of Gas — Environment and Engineering is incorporating new regulations pertaining to the Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act into its reviews of natural gas applications.
Session Target Audience – All companies and consultants subjected to the environmental regulations and procedures required on FERC-regulated interstate natural gas facilities nationwide.
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