Individuals file complaints to seek action concerning persons or organizations alleged to be in violation of any statute, rule, order or law administered by the Commission, or for any other alleged wrong over which the Commission may have jurisdiction.
Before filing a complaint, you may want to consider raising your concerns under FERC’s informal dispute resolution procedures: the Enforcement Hotline, Dispute Resolution Service or Landowner Helpline.
- The Enforcement Hotline is available for help in matters involving potential violations and wrongdoing. See the Hotline section for further information.
- Dispute Resolution Service uses alternative dispute resolution processes to assist energy disputants and other affected parties with solving problems and resolving disputes before or after a formal complaint is filed with the Commission.
- The Landowner Helpline is available to assist landowners in addressing disputes associated with jurisdictional facilities.
- Complaints or reports regarding non-compliance with hydroelectric licenses may be directed to the Hydro Compliance Helpline.
You may file a complaint on any aspect of the Commission’s regulation of the energy industry and markets. Allegations specifically concerning a natural gas company’s potential violation of its mandatory environmental conditions during construction of pipelines and other gas transportation infrastructure, and a hydro licensee’s potential violation of the licenses for its project, are initially investigated and addressed by Commission staff in the Office of Energy Projects. You can find more information on the natural gas infrastructure process here.
The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 601 et seq, to require that federal agencies establish policies and programs to make their regulations more understandable to small businesses. SBREFA also contains congressional review provisions that require agencies to submit information concerning most new rules to Congress and the Comptroller General. When an agency issues a rule that requires analysis under the RFA, the agency must publish a guide explaining how small businesses are to comply with the rule. Finally, SBREFA amended the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) to allow certain small businesses to recover post-complaint attorney fees in instances in which the agency's final demand is substantially in excess of the decisions of the adjudicative officer and is unreasonable when compared with that decision, given the facts of the case (this provision is limited to adversary adjudications, judicial review of agency enforcement actions, civil penalty actions, and adversary administrative adjudications initiated on or after March 29, 1996).
The Commission works with the small business community via the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Ombudsman and Regional Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman assists small businesses that believe they have experienced excessive or unfair federal regulatory enforcement actions by a federal agency, such as excessive fines or penalties, retaliation or other unfair enforcement action. Information is available at the Ombudsman's web site or by calling 888-734-3247.
The Ombudsman has asked all federal agencies to make clear that if a small business entity requests Ombudsman assistance on a federal agency matter, or complains about a federal agency action, that agency will not retaliate in response. The Commission regards the fair treatment of small businesses, without retaliation, as an obligation of its employees under the standards of conduct applicable to all federal employees by virtue of 5 C.F.R. § 635.101(b).