On August 31, 2018, FERC and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”), an agency under the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to coordinate the siting and safety review of FERC-jurisdictional Liquified Natural Gas (“LNG”) facilities.

The MOU generally establishes FERC and PHMSA’s roles and responsibilities regarding the siting, construction, and operation of LNG facilities.  Specifically, the MOU provides that PHMSA, which is responsible for standards governing the location and design of LNG facilities, will review LNG project applications to determine whether a proposed facility complies with the safety standards provided by PHMSA’s regulations.  PHMSA will also issue a letter to FERC stating its findings regarding such compliance.  FERC will then consider PHMSA’s compliance findings in its decision on whether a project is in the public interest.

In response to this agency coordination, FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre stated, “FERC is pleased to collaborate with PHMSA to better leverage each agency’s expertise and to process LNG applications in the safest and most efficient way possible.  I would like to thank DOT Secretary Chao and PHMSA Administrator Elliott for their collaboration and leadership.”

A copy of the MOU is available here.  A copy of FERC’s news release of the MOU is available here.