Natural Gas NOW
States such as Ohio and New York, have been playing political games with FERC water rules and others hope to do so but the courts are catching up with them.
When I say FERC water rules, what I’m referring to is Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which governs how states are to carry out their water quality certification responsibilities. The law basically provides that any FERC pipeline project involving water discharges (and all do) must receive certification from the state in which the discharge will originate that it complies with the state’s water quality standards. Section 401 specifically states:
If the State, interstate agency, or Administrator, as the case may be, fails or refuses to act on a request for certification, within a reasonable period of time (which shall not exceed one year) after receipt of such request, the certification requirements of this subsection shall be waived with respect to such Federal application.”
If the states don’t act accordingly, FERC can declare waivers have occurred and essentially take over those responsibilities. Ohio, like New York, has been playing games with the one-year deadline by blackmailing applicants into withdrawing and resubmitting such that applicant can be delayed for a long, long time and delay kills projects. The Federal courts are onto this game, as I noted here and here, and now at least one state court in Ohio is as well.