FERC Approves Northern Natural’s Pipeline Replacement Project

By Maddy McCarty, P&GJ Digital Editor

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Northern Natural Gas Company’s request to replace 87 miles of natural gas pipeline, agreeing that the project’s greenhouse gas emissions would not be significant.

Northern Natural’s South Sioux City to Sioux Falls A-line Replacement Project will enhance safety, security and operational efficiency of Northern Natural’s pipeline system in South Dakota and Nebraska, FERC said in a news release.

FERC Chairman Richard Glick tweeted that he was proud to see FERC comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Natural Gas Act by assessing the significance of a proposed natural gas pipeline project’s greenhouse gas emissions and contribution to climate change. This was the first time FERC considered how a proposed natural gas pipeline would affect greenhouse gas emissions, which is one of the steps the Biden administration initiated in its effort to slow climate change, the Associated Press reported.

The commissioners approved the project by a vote of 3-2 on Thursday, according to the AP article.

“Going forward, we are committed to treating greenhouse gas emissions and their contribution to climate change the same as all other environmental impacts we consider,” Glick said in the news release.

FERC’s approach to natural gas project greenhouse gas emissions has been a subject of disagreement among the commissioners for several years, the news release states, leading Glick to praise the compromise.

“More work to do, but this is an important start,” Glick tweeted.

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