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Brown, Williams, Moorhead & Quinn, Inc.

The latest CFR Title 18 tome is about a quarter larger than it was just a few years ago. With more regulations and more nuanced provisions, compliance with today’s energy regulatory environment is a greater challenge than ever. And scrutiny by the regulators is picking up steam with each passing year. It is the nature of regulations in complex industries to be precise and yet confusing and contradictory. Nevertheless, compliance is mandatory. Brown Williams’ staff of experts can help clients through the maze of reports, conditions, requirements, and timetables to stay within compliance standards and avoid the consequences of an i not dotted.

Certificate Conditions

Under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act, the Commission reviews applications for the construction and operation of natural gas pipelines. It also authorizes natural gas storage construction and rates, and has lead siting authority and shared responsibility with other government agencies for Liquefied Natural Gas facilities. In its application review of proposed natural gas infrastructure projects, the Commission ensures that the applicant will comply with environmental conditions, and any mitigation actions needed to soften potential impacts to resources and the public from the project. Brown Williams helps clients understand the nature of the conditions sought by the FERC staff and intervenors, craft solutions to their concerns, and ensure the client meets those certificate conditions. In addition, certificate orders contain conditions related to initial rates and pro forma tariff provisions.

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Forms & Reports

FERC has an extensive array of forms and reports that regulated entities are required to file. These include annual reports, quarterly financial and operating reports, indexes of customers, transactional data, schematics, transactions with affiliates, and several other annual reports. Brown Williams assists clients in knowing which forms to file, when to file them, and what’s to be included in the reports.

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Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline FERC Compliance Manual

BWMQ's Fall 2012 Compliance Manual incorporates significant orders and rulings on compliance and investigation activity updated through the Fall of 2012.

This single volume, easy to use product provides a roadmap for subscribers on how to meet their statutory and regulatory obligations with respect to corporate standards of conduct and a myriad of mandated filing requirements.  It contains a wealth of information about regulatory compliance and spans a wide range of topics including:

  • Background on significant FERC enforcement orders and policy statements;
  • FERC's Standards of Conduct Regulations;
  • Transactional reporting requirements;
  • Tariff compliance;
  • Compliance with posting requirements (including NAESB requirements);
  • FERC forms and reports
  • Certificate requirements;
  • The FERC audit process;
  • Corporate risk assessment; and
  • General Terms and Conditions of service.

Section XV provides FERC guidance on what constitutes an effective compliance program. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has the expectation that all jurisdictional companies will develop internal compliance programs and self report violations of statutory and regulatory requirements.  FERC expects that 70% of its regulated natural gas and electric entities will have adequate compliance programs in place by 2014.

Section XVI sets forth key FERC findings which include cites to FERC policies and precedent on over forty-five issues typically found in the General Terms and Conditions of FERC Gas Tariffs.  This section provides subscribers links to the Commission precedent and policies on all key terms and conditions of service issues.  While comprehensive in scope, this section is a dynamic work in progress that will continue to be augmented and updated to ensure it remains a useful research tool.

BWMQ has also developed full FERC Compliance Plans for several clients.  These plans provide a comprehensive set of documents tailored to the client's compliance responsibilities.

If you would like to obtain a subscription to this manual or would like further information, contact:

Barry E. Sullivan, President or Chris John, Vice President of BWMQ at 202-775-8994

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NAESB Requirements

FERC regulations promulgated in the Order No. 587 series of orders standardize the business practices and communication methodologies of interstate natural gas pipelines. These regulations incorporate by reference the standards for interstate natural gas pipeline business practices and electronic communications that are developed by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB). These standards are part of the Commission’s regulations and, as such, are mandatory and binding on the natural gas pipelines under the Commission’s jurisdiction. Brown Williams assists clients in complying with the NAESB standards.

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Tariff Terms & Conditions

The Natural Gas Act requires a great deal of transparency from interstate natural gas pipelines. Section 4(c) requires pipelines to file schedules or tariffs with FERC and to keep them open in convenient, form, and place for public inspection. Pursuant to FERC’s regulations, pipelines are required to file with the Commission very lengthy tariffs that contain, among other things, information with respect to rates and charges for transmission services, executed service agreements, and terms and conditions applicable to rate schedules for open access transmission services. In addition, FERC requires companies to post on their internet web sites tariffs that contain information and data concerning their operations and business. Brown Williams assists clients in crafting tariff language, assessing the impact of tariff conditions, and ensuring compliance with Commission approved conditions.

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