FERC Issues Draft Guidance for Horizontal Directional Drill Monitoring, Seeks Input

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Office of Energy Projects (OEP) has prepared draft “Guidance for Horizontal Directional Drill Monitoring, Inadvertent Return Response, and Contingency Plans” (HDD Guidance).

Commission staff is asking for comments on the draft HDD Guidance from federal and state agencies, environmental consultants, inspectors, the natural gas industry, construction contractors and other interested parties with special expertise in regards to preparation of HDD monitoring and contingency plans associated with natural gas projects. The comment period will close on Dec. 28, 2018.

The draft HDD Guidance is available for public viewing on the FERC’s website using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link then click on General Search and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (AD19-6). Be sure an appropriate date range is selected.

Applicable sections of the Code of Federal Regulations Title 18 are referenced or summarized throughout the draft HDD Guidance. OEP staff is not seeking comment on any existing regulations or contemplating any changes to regulations within the context of the HDD Guidance. Comments pertaining to regulation changes will not be considered as the final HDD Guidance is developed. OEP staff anticipates issuing a final updated version of the HDD Guidance in February 2019. The OEP will consider all timely comments on the draft before issuing the final version.

Interested parties can help determine appropriate updates and improvements by providing comments or suggestions that focus on the specific sections of the HDD Guidance requiring clarification, updates to reflect current laws and regulations, or additional information that should be included in each resource report. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. A detailed explanation of the rationale underlying your suggested modifications and/or any references to scientific studies associated with your comments would greatly the process.

There are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the docket number (AD19-6-000) with your submission.

  • File comments electronically using the eComment (ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx) feature on the FERC’s website. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments.
  • File comments electronically using the eFiling feature (ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp) on the Commission’s website. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on eRegister. You must select the type of filing you are making, select Comment on a Filing.
  • File a paper copy of comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference Docket No. AD19-6-000 on your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426

The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has staff available to assist at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 866-208-3676, or for TTY, contact 202-502-8659.

All of the information related to the proposed updates to the HDD Guidance and submitted comments can be found on the FERC website using the eLibrary link and docket number (i.e., AD19-6). The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of all formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

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