Text: H.R.3983 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/25/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 3983 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3983

To provide for Federal and State agency coordination in the approval of 
    certain authorizations under the Natural Gas Act, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 25, 2019

  Mr. Flores (for himself, Mr. Johnson of Ohio, Mr. McKinley, and Mr. 
    Olson) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                    Committee on Energy and Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To provide for Federal and State agency coordination in the approval of 
    certain authorizations under the Natural Gas Act, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Promoting Interagency Coordination 
for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act''.

SEC. 2. FERC PROCESS COORDINATION FOR NATURAL GAS PIPELINE PROJECTS.

    (a) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
        Energy Regulatory Commission.
            (2) Federal authorization.--The term ``Federal 
        authorization'' has the meaning given that term in section 
        15(a) of the Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717n(a)).
            (3) NEPA review.--The term ``NEPA review'' means the 
        process of reviewing a proposed Federal action under section 
        102 of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
        4332).
            (4) Project-related nepa review.--The term ``project-
        related NEPA review'' means any NEPA review required to be 
        conducted with respect to the issuance of an authorization 
        under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act or a certificate of 
        public convenience and necessity under section 7 of such Act.
    (b) Commission NEPA Review Responsibilities.--In acting as the lead 
agency under section 15(b)(1) of the Natural Gas Act for the purposes 
of complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) with respect to an authorization under section 3 
of the Natural Gas Act or a certificate of public convenience and 
necessity under section 7 of such Act, the Commission shall, in 
accordance with this section and other applicable Federal law--
            (1) be the only lead agency;
            (2) coordinate as early as practicable with each agency 
        designated as a participating agency under subsection (d)(3) to 
        ensure that the Commission develops information in conducting 
        its project-related NEPA review that is usable by the 
        participating agency in considering an aspect of an application 
        for a Federal authorization for which the agency is 
        responsible; and
            (3) take such actions as are necessary and proper to 
        facilitate the expeditious resolution of its project-related 
        NEPA review.
    (c) Deference to Commission.--In making a decision with respect to 
a Federal authorization required with respect to an application for 
authorization under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act or a certificate 
of public convenience and necessity under section 7 of such Act, each 
agency shall give deference, to the maximum extent authorized by law, 
to the scope of the project-related NEPA review that the Commission 
determines to be appropriate.
    (d) Participating Agencies.--
            (1) Identification.--The Commission shall identify, as 
        early as practicable after it is notified by a person applying 
        for an authorization under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act or 
        a certificate of public convenience and necessity under section 
        7 of such Act, any Federal or State agency, local government, 
        or Indian Tribe that may issue a Federal authorization or is 
        required by Federal law to consult with the Commission in 
        conjunction with the issuance of a Federal authorization 
        required for such authorization or certificate.
            (2) Invitation.--
                    (A) In general.--The Commission shall invite any 
                agency identified under paragraph (1) to participate in 
                the review process for the applicable Federal 
                authorization.
                    (B) Deadline.--An invitation issued under 
                subparagraph (A) shall establish a deadline by which a 
                response to the invitation shall be submitted to the 
                Commission, which may be extended by the Commission for 
                good cause.
            (3) Designation as participating agencies.--The Commission 
        shall designate an agency identified under paragraph (1) as a 
        participating agency with respect to an application for 
        authorization under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act or a 
        certificate of public convenience and necessity under section 7 
        of such Act unless the agency informs the Commission, in 
        writing, by the deadline established pursuant to paragraph 
        (2)(B), that the agency--
                    (A) has no jurisdiction or authority with respect 
                to the applicable Federal authorization;
                    (B) has no special expertise or information 
                relevant to any project-related NEPA review; or
                    (C) does not intend to submit comments for the 
                record for the project-related NEPA review conducted by 
                the Commission.
            (4) Effect of non-designation.--
                    (A) Effect on agency.--Any agency that is not 
                designated as a participating agency under paragraph 
                (3) with respect to an application for an authorization 
                under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act or a certificate 
                of public convenience and necessity under section 7 of 
                such Act may not request or conduct a NEPA review that 
                is supplemental to the project-related NEPA review 
                conducted by the Commission, unless the agency--
                            (i) demonstrates that such review is 
                        legally necessary for the agency to carry out 
                        responsibilities in considering an aspect of an 
                        application for a Federal authorization; and
                            (ii) requires information that could not 
                        have been obtained during the project-related 
                        NEPA review conducted by the Commission.
                    (B) Comments; record.--The Commission shall not, 
                with respect to an agency that is not designated as a 
                participating agency under paragraph (3) with respect 
                to an application for an authorization under section 3 
                of the Natural Gas Act or a certificate of public 
                convenience and necessity under section 7 of such Act--
                            (i) consider any comments or other 
                        information submitted by such agency for the 
                        project-related NEPA review conducted by the 
                        Commission; or
                            (ii) include any such comments or other 
                        information in the record for such project-
                        related NEPA review.
    (e) Schedule.--
            (1) Deadline for federal authorizations.--A deadline for a 
        Federal authorization required with respect to an application 
        for authorization under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act or a 
        certificate of public convenience and necessity under section 7 
        of such Act set by the Commission under section 15(c)(1) of 
        such Act shall be not later than 90 days after the Commission 
        completes its project-related NEPA review, unless an applicable 
        schedule is otherwise established by Federal law.
            (2) Concurrent reviews.--Each Federal and State agency--
                    (A) that may consider an application for a Federal 
                authorization required with respect to an application 
                for authorization under section 3 of the Natural Gas 
                Act or a certificate of public convenience and 
                necessity under section 7 of such Act shall formulate 
                and implement a plan for administrative, policy, and 
                procedural mechanisms to enable the agency to ensure 
                completion of Federal authorizations in compliance with 
                schedules established by the Commission under section 
                15(c)(1) of such Act; and
                    (B) in considering an aspect of an application for 
                a Federal authorization required with respect to an 
                application for authorization under section 3 of the 
                Natural Gas Act or a certificate of public convenience 
                and necessity under section 7 of such Act, shall--
                            (i) formulate and implement a plan to 
                        enable the agency to comply with the schedule 
                        established by the Commission under section 
                        15(c)(1) of such Act;
                            (ii) carry out the obligations of that 
                        agency under applicable law concurrently, and 
                        in conjunction with, the project-related NEPA 
                        review conducted by the Commission, and in 
                        compliance with the schedule established by the 
                        Commission under section 15(c)(1) of such Act, 
                        unless the agency notifies the Commission in 
                        writing that doing so would impair the ability 
                        of the agency to conduct needed analysis or 
                        otherwise carry out such obligations;
                            (iii) transmit to the Commission a 
                        statement--
                                    (I) acknowledging receipt of the 
                                schedule established by the Commission 
                                under section 15(c)(1) of the Natural 
                                Gas Act; and
                                    (II) setting forth the plan 
                                formulated under clause (i) of this 
                                subparagraph;
                            (iv) not later than 30 days after the 
                        agency receives such application for a Federal 
                        authorization, transmit to the applicant a 
                        notice--
                                    (I) indicating whether such 
                                application is ready for processing; 
                                and
                                    (II) if such application is not 
                                ready for processing, that includes a 
                                comprehensive description of the 
                                information needed for the agency to 
                                determine that the application is ready 
                                for processing;
                            (v) determine that such application for a 
                        Federal authorization is ready for processing 
                        for purposes of clause (iv) if such application 
                        is sufficiently complete for the purposes of 
                        commencing consideration, regardless of whether 
                        supplemental information is necessary to enable 
                        the agency to complete the consideration 
                        required by law with respect to such 
                        application; and
                            (vi) not less often than once every 90 
                        days, transmit to the Commission a report 
                        describing the progress made in considering 
                        such application for a Federal authorization.
            (3) Failure to meet deadline.--If a Federal or State 
        agency, including the Commission, fails to meet a deadline for 
        a Federal authorization set forth in the schedule established 
        by the Commission under section 15(c)(1) of the Natural Gas 
        Act, not later than 5 days after such deadline, the head of the 
        relevant Federal agency (including, in the case of a failure by 
        a State agency, the Federal agency overseeing the delegated 
        authority) shall notify Congress and the Commission of such 
        failure and set forth a recommended implementation plan to 
        ensure completion of the action to which such deadline applied.
    (f) Consideration of Applications for Federal Authorization.--
            (1) Issue identification and resolution.--
                    (A) Identification.--Federal and State agencies 
                that may consider an aspect of an application for a 
                Federal authorization shall identify, as early as 
                possible, any issues of concern that may delay or 
                prevent an agency from working with the Commission to 
                resolve such issues and granting such authorization.
                    (B) Issue resolution.--The Commission may forward 
                any issue of concern identified under subparagraph (A) 
                to the heads of the relevant agencies (including, in 
                the case of an issue of concern that is a failure by a 
                State agency, the Federal agency overseeing the 
                delegated authority, if applicable) for resolution.
            (2) Remote surveys.--If a Federal or State agency 
        considering an aspect of an application for a Federal 
        authorization requires the person applying for such 
        authorization to submit data, the agency shall consider any 
        such data gathered by aerial or other remote means that the 
        person submits. The agency may grant a conditional approval for 
        the Federal authorization based on data gathered by aerial or 
        remote means, conditioned on the verification of such data by 
        subsequent onsite inspection.
            (3) Application processing.--The Commission, and Federal 
        and State agencies, may allow a person applying for a Federal 
        authorization to fund a third-party contractor to assist in 
        reviewing the application for such authorization.
    (g) Accountability, Transparency, Efficiency.--For an application 
for an authorization under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act or a 
certificate of public convenience and necessity under section 7 of such 
Act that requires multiple Federal authorizations, the Commission, with 
input from any Federal or State agency considering an aspect of the 
application, shall track and make available to the public on the 
Commission's website information related to the actions required to 
complete the Federal authorizations. Such information shall include the 
following:
            (1) The schedule established by the Commission under 
        section 15(c)(1) of the Natural Gas Act.
            (2) A list of all the actions required by each applicable 
        agency to complete permitting, reviews, and other actions 
        necessary to obtain a final decision on the application.
            (3) The expected completion date for each such action.
            (4) A point of contact at the agency responsible for each 
        such action.
            (5) In the event that an action is still pending as of the 
        expected date of completion, a brief explanation of the reasons 
        for the delay.

SEC. 3. PIPELINE SECURITY.

    In considering an application for an authorization under section 3 
of the Natural Gas Act or a certificate of public convenience and 
necessity under section 7 of such Act, the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission shall consult with the Administrator of the Transportation 
Security Administration regarding the applicant's compliance with 
security guidance and best practice recommendations of the 
Administration regarding pipeline infrastructure security, pipeline 
cybersecurity, pipeline personnel security, and other pipeline security 
measures.
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