Improving Oil and Gas Pipeline Permitting
States and tribes work with energy companies and their consultant intermediaries to permit oil and gas pipeline construction and maintenance projects. This page provides a number of tools and resources that may be useful for pipeline permit applicants and consultants as they work through the permit application process with state and tribal regulators, specifically on Clean Water Act §401 water quality certification.
To address the growing need for states and tribes to build their permitting capacity, NAWM has developed the following resources that may be of interest to oil and gas pipeline project applicants and those who assist them. This page provides information that may help you:
- Build shared understanding and improve communications with state and tribal regulators;
- Learn about state and tribal §401 certification processes and process maps,
- Explore pipeline permitting best practices being used by states/tribes,
- Consider cumulative impacts during planning and application development phases,
- Understand common issues and challenges to effective state/tribal pipeline permitting,
- Encourage regular, ongoing training for company staff and consultants
Build shared understanding and improve communications with state and tribal regulators – good relationships can lead to more effective and efficient permitting
- Use NAWM’s Improving the Information Pipeline document to help guide discussions with between consultant intermediaries and regulators
- Learn about creating shared understanding to address complexity by reading NAWM's Wetland News Article, entitled "When My Pig Isn't the Same as Your Pig: Helping State and Tribal Regulators Address Complexity in Linear Oil and Gas Pipeline Development Permitting Processes"
- Get up to speed about the differences in language used to talk about oil and gas pipeline permitting by reviewing oil and gas pipeline permitting language resources from different parties in the process.
- View NAWM’s webinar recording "Improving the Information Pipeline: Working with Consultants during Oil and Gas Pipeline Permitting Processes"
Learn about state and tribal §401 water quality processes and process maps
- Learn how states and tribes are creating formal, transparent oil and gas permitting process maps to share your state/tribal permitting process with applicants and other parties involved in the planning and permit review activities using NAWM’s Pipeline Permitting Process Mapping Guide
- View examples of state process maps
- Download NAWM’s template process map
- View FERC process maps for interstate natural gas pipeline permitting (external resource)
Explore pipeline permitting best practices being used by states/tribes
- Download NAWM’s guide on Considering Best Practices for Managing Pipeline Permitting: A Roadmap for States and Tribes Considering Ways to Incorporate Best Practices into Oil and Gas Permitting Processes. This document includes tips on how to develop a set of BMPs for use in your state/tribe and examples of common BMPs in five areas: administrative, legal/regulatory, planning/pre-application, construction, and post-construction. Links to examples of state BMP documents are included.
- View NAWM's webinar recording "Horizontal Directional Drilling Understanding Context when Reviewing Oil and Gas Pipeline Permit Applications"(10/29/18)
- List of Potential Environmental Impacts from Major Oil and Gas Projects
- Learn about ways of thinking about cumulative impacts by reading NAWM's Wetland News Article, entitled "Considering the Cumulative Adverse Effects of Pipeline Development on Wetlands"
- Consider a framework for documenting impacts from pipeline development and maintenance activities. Learn about existing research and conceptualizations by reading NAWM’s white paper: The Cumulative Adverse Effects of Gas Pipeline Construction and Maintenance on Wetlands: Background and Assessment
- Consider adapting NAWM/BRI’s Cumulative Adverse Effects (CAE) Assessment Model for use in your planning and review processes.
- View NAWM's webinar recording "Cumulative Adverse Effects of Pipeline Development on Wetlands"
Understand common issues and challenges to effective state and tribal pipeline permitting
- Understand common issues and challenges to effective and efficient pipeline permitting at the state level by reviewing the following list of common issues and challenges and challenges and matrix of barriers and solutions to gather more information to support your capacity-building work.
- Encourage regulators to participate in the pre-application phase of your pipeline project planning as early and often as possible. Regulator engagement during the planning phase of pipeline development process can be invaluable in guiding decision making, encouraging use of best practices and avoiding delays in §401 certification.
- Better understand ways that states and tribes may be working to improve pipeline permitting efforts by reviewing NAWM's Policy Brief
Encourage regular, ongoing training for company staff and consultants
- Review NAWM’s document on training to improve oil and gas pipeline permitting at the state/tribal level
- View archived recording of NAWM’s Pipeline Permitting 101 Webinar
- FERC online training modules on interstate natural gas pipeline permitting (external resource)