Here’s the decision. Commentary to come…
New: Upcoming Oral Argument April 11, 2019 – Challenging FERC Order That Ignores Climate Change Impacts & Would Allow Companies to Put Compressor Stations Not Just Somewhere But AnywhereTMarieHilton
On April 11, 2019, the D.C. Circuit will hear two seemingly small cases but that have big consequences for how applicants choose project sites and the extent to which FERC must disclose project’s climate change impacts. In Birckhead v. FERC where I represent petitioners, we challenged the Commission’s irrational reliance on site control as a determinative factor in choosing between two sites – one which would have indisputably reduced project emissions by 40 percent and reduced the footprint of the project by half, thus decreasing the impacts on the ground. FERC found these changes insignificant. FERC also failed to quantify and evaluate the project’s upstream and downstream emissions and their impact on climate change – a sharp departure from its earlier policy. This same issue is also the central focus of the first case that day, Otsego 2000 v. FERC.
In addition to representing the petitioners in the Birckhead case, I also assisted the Otsego2000 group with its rehearing petition and in filing a petition for review at the D.C. Circuit before transferring the case to the current attorney Michael Sussman.
You can view the briefs from my case here:
Documents from the Otsego case can be found here.
Carolyn Elefant has been invited to speak at the prestigious and wildly popular ALI-CLE Conference on Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, to be held in Palm Springs, California, January 24-26, 2019. Carolyn will present on the panel entitled Pipelines I – Where You Haven’t Gone Before: New Approaches to Challenging the Take scheduled for January 25, 2019. You may download a copy of Carolyn’s summary of emerging challenges to eminent domain takings for FERC pipelines here:
The firm represents Catherine Holleran and her family who made headlines a few years back when Constitution Pipeline agents, accompanied by armed marshals stormed the property to fell 558 trees for a pipeline that was ultimately denied a key permit by New York regulators. Here are the papers that we’ve filed seeking a return of the property and payment for full restoration of the property, compensation for lost business and other damages.
Petition to Rescind Certificate (June 2018)
Motion to Dissolve Injunction (July 2018)
Holleran Declaration (July 2018)
Constitution Response (July 2018)
Holleran Reply (Aug 2018)
Today, the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant submitted these comments in response to the FERC Notice of Inquiry on the Certificate Policy Statement. The Firm’s comments are based on Ms. Elefant’s former experience as a FERC attorney advisor along with eight years of work as a landowner rights attorney in the FERC pipeline arena. The comments may be viewed here.
Massachusetts newspaper the Recorder, ran an article Sunday, March 27th, 2016 mentioning STOP and their opposition to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline project. Some key excerpts from the article:
“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is asking for assurances from Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. as it considers allowing the company to begin clearing trees for the Connecticut Expansion Project.”
“Meanwhile a group of project opponents in the Berkshire County town of Sandisfield, which would be affected by the pipeline looping project, have formally asked FERC to deny TGP’s request to begin cutting, saying it hasn’t obtained a permit required under the federal Clean Waters [sic] Act.”
“Sandisfield Taxpayers Opposing the Pipeline… in its filing with [FERC] on Friday, writes, ‘At the outset, Tennessee admits in its request that it has not, in fact, obtained all of the federal authorizations which it requires in order to proceed. Despite this, it attempts to gloss over its lack of authorization by focusing on the authorizations it has received. For example, Tennessee states in its Request that it will not require a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404 … for its proposed tree clearing activities. Under normal circumstances, tree clearing with hand-held equipment during March and April might not “rut soil or cause damage to the root systems.” However, this premise assumes that the ground will be frozen during the times allotted. Tennessee ignores the fact that this past winter has been anything but “usual.”’
On March 22, 2016, Carolyn Elefant presented a talk on FERC and Pipeline Overbuild at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) Energy Finance Training Program held at Columbia Law School. Here’s the slide deck from the presentation.