On December 18, 2015, FERC staff of the Office of Energy Projects (“OEP”) issued a notice of availability of the Draft Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation (“Guidance Manual”) for natural gas projects seeking comments on the Guidance Manual on or before January 19, 2016. OEP staff is asking for public input and suggestions for modifications to the Guidance Manual from interested parties in regards to preparation of resource reports associated with natural gas projects.

In the notice, OEP staff stated that it is revising its 2002 Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation to incorporate regulation changes and provide updated guidance on how to prepare resource reports and how interstate and liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) projects may demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements. Volume 1 of the Guidance Manual relates to the preparation of resource reports for both interstate natural gas projects and FERC-jurisdictional LNG facilities. Volume 2 relates to LNG facilities and includes supplemental information needed to comply with regulations governing how to demonstrate (1) information reflected in the National Bureau of Standards Information Report, (2) the potential hazard to the public from failure of facility components resulting from natural catastrophes, and (3) the proposed engineering design’s safety and reliability. OEP staff stated that Volume 2 is intended to replace a series of guidance documents issued to assist in the preparation and review of LNG applications.

OEP staff further stated that interested parties can help determine the appropriate updates and improvements by providing comments or suggestions that focus on the specific sections of the Guidance Manual requiring clarification, updates to reflect current laws or regulations, or additional information that should be included in the resource report, along with a detailed explanation underlying the suggested modifications and/or any references to scientific studies. OEP staff stated that there are three methods for submitting comments: (1) electronically using the eComment feature on FERC’s website, (2) electronically using the eFiling feature on FERC’s website, and in paper by mailing them to the Secretary of FERC.

Comments are due on or before January 19, 2016. A copy of the notice and Volumes 1 and 2 of the Draft Guidance Manual are available here.