News Release: January 31, 2020
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee today announced the Office of General Counsel (OGC) will reorganize to more expeditiously process requests for rehearing of Natural Gas Act (NGA) section 7 certificate orders filed by affected landowners.
Today’s announcement builds on Chatterjee’s September 2019 pledge to refine the FERC process to prioritize rehearing requests involving landowner issues, with a target of issuing rehearing orders within 30 days and reducing the use of tolling orders. At that time, Chatterjee designated attorneys in the rehearings group of the Solicitor’s Office to focus on rehearing requests involving landowner issues.
“Our objective today is to reinforce the Commission’s commitment to ensure landowners are afforded a judicially appealable rehearing order as quickly as possible,” Chatterjee said. “I am confident that this action will help substantially reduce the amount of time we take to issue rehearing orders in these critical cases.”
Under the plan, Chatterjee has directed the creation of a new Rehearings section within OGC, akin to the six existing sections in that office: Energy Markets 1 and 2, Energy Projects, General and Administrative Law, the Solicitor’s Office, and the Dispute Resolution Service.
The Rehearings section will have two separate groups, a Landowner Rehearings group and a General Rehearings group. The Landowner Rehearings group will give first priority to landowner rehearing requests, and would work on other rehearing items only when time permits.
This allocation of resources, Chatterjee said, would allow for more timely action on expected landowner requests for rehearing.
“We are hopeful that these actions will help alleviate the very real landowner concerns about timing and fairness in infrastructure cases implicating landowner rights,” Chatterjee said. “I remain committed to doing all we can to improve our FERC processes on this front.”