Under a blanket certificate issued pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act, a natural gas company may undertake a restricted array of routine activities without the need to obtain a case-specific certificate for each individual project. The blanket certificate program provides an administratively efficient means to enable a company to construct, modify, acquire, operate, and abandon a limited set of natural gas facilities, and offer a limited set of services, provided each activity complies with constraints on costs and environmental impacts set forth in the Commission's regulations.
There are two types of blanket certificate projects; Automatic and Prior Notice.
|Automatic project cost limit||Prior notice project cost limit||Storage project cost limit|
Automatic: For smaller scale blanket certificate projects, a company must notify potentially affected landowners of the planned project at least 45 days in advance, describing the planned project and how a landowner can contact the company. The notification must also include an explanation of the Commission's Landowner Helpline procedures and the Landowner Helpline phone number. The Commission and the public, other than the affected landowners, do not receive notification of planned projects that qualify under this type of blanket certificate authority. The project may proceed after the landowner notification requirement has been met.
Prior Notice: All other blanket certificate projects are subject to the prior notice process, whereby a company, in addition to providing potentially affected landowners with advance notice, must also file a description of a planned project with the Commission. A Public Notice of the planned project will be issued by the Commission (published in the Commission's eLibrary). The Public Notice is also published in the Federal Register.
Within 60 days of publication of the Public Notice on the Commission’s Website, any person may participate by intervening or by commenting/protesting a planned project. Once the 60-day period to protest expires, if no protest has been filed, the project may proceed. However, if a protest is filed by the public or by Commission staff, interested persons have 30 days to resolve the issues raised in the protest. If the issues are not resolved, and the protest is not withdrawn or dismissed, the planned project will not be authorized under the company's blanket certificate but will instead be treated as if the proposed project were presented in an application for project-specific certificate authorization.