Natural Gas:

Factors Affecting the Time It Takes to Approve Construction of Natural Gas Pipelines

T-RCED-91-73: Published: Jun 27, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 1991.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO discussed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) approval process for natural gas pipeline construction, focusing on the: (1) time it takes FERC to process pipeline construction applications; (2) factors affecting its application processing time; (3) potential impact of FERC actions and proposed regulations and legislation to expedite its application procedures; and (4) need for improvements in its management information systems. GAO noted that: (1) the median time for processing the 125 certificates or approved applications reviewed was 331 days, 40 percent took longer than 1 year, and 10 certificates took at least 2 years; (2) factors affecting processing time included outside intervention, projects involving multiple applicants, unresolved policy issues, incomplete applications, and lengthy environmental reviews; (3) FERC took such actions to reduce its processing and construction times as placing limits on filing competitive applications, adopting a two-phase decision approach, shifting certification process requirements, and requiring less data, and proposed rule changes to further streamline the certification process; (4) proposed legislation would facilitate faster pipeline construction by providing the industry with unregulated options to either limit or increase FERC authority; (5) FERC believes that it needs more authority to continue processing construction applications when agencies do not review environmental assessments in a timely manner; and (6) the FERC information system is deficient and does not enable FERC to effectively evaluate its application review process.

Dec 10, 2020

Dec 8, 2020

Nov 19, 2020

Oct 29, 2020

Oct 15, 2020

Jul 24, 2020

Jun 24, 2020

Jun 9, 2020

May 13, 2020

May 12, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here