On November 19, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) issued the 2020 Annual Report on Enforcement (Report). The Report informs the public and the regulated community of Enforcement’s fiscal year activities occurring October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020 (FY 2020).  Notably, the Report does not include any enforcement actions resulting in civil penalties involving pipeline companies. As stated in the Report, the unprecedented pandemic allowed Enforcement to make several compliance-related accommodations, including extending deadlines, suspending new audits, and postponing the contacts it makes in connection with surveillance inquiries. It is expected that, in a post-COVID-19-era and with a new administration, FERC’s enforcement approach may be more active in the coming years.

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PHMSA has again released an advisory to pipeline operators on the potential for damage to pipeline facilities caused by severe flooding, as well as actions operators should consider taking to ensure the integrity of pipelines in the event of flooding, river scour, and river channel migration.  The advisory is essentially identical to advisories PHMSA has issued on the same topic in July 2013 and April 2015 (see previous posts on these advisories from 2013 and 2015), reflecting a tendency of the Agency to issue such guidance cyclically.

Continue Reading Advisory Regarding Damage to Pipeline from Flooding Re-Issued