WASHINGTON—In recognition of the increased level of natural gas pipeline development across the United States, particularly in areas unaccustomed to such activities, the board of directors of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America reaffirmed July 17 its commitment to engage landowners in a respectful, informative and clear manner.
“INGAA is committed to leading an industry that builds and maintains strong positive relationships with landowners,” said INGAA President Don Santa. “With construction activity increasing, the board believed it was appropriate to reaffirm its commitment to landowners.”
In June 2008, INGAA’s member companies originally endorsed “America’s Natural Gas Transporters’ Commitment to Landowners.” In doing so, each INGAA member company embraced the following core principles:
1. Respect and Trust
Positive, lasting relationships are built on mutual respect and trust. We will strive to understand issues from the Landowners’ perspective and help them understand ours.
2. Accurate and Timely Information
Providing natural gas transportation and storage services to the nation may create concerns. We will provide Landowners with information regarding the importance of energy infrastructure, the reason and need for the proposed project, and the processes in place governing easement acquisition, certification, construction, operation and maintenance of our facilities, and the particulars of individual projects.
3. Negotiate in Good Faith
We will listen and strive to understand, and negotiate in good faith. We will make every attempt to reach agreement with landowners in an honest, fair and reasonable fashion.
4. Respect the Regulatory Compact
Final approval for a project is not a certainty and our interactions with landowners will reflect that understanding. Prior to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision, actions taken to negotiate easements or options are at the company’s risk as there is no guarantee the project will be approved. We will communicate clearly that federal eminent domain cannot be exercised unless a Certificate is granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and will distinguish clearly when, and if, eminent domain is exercised pursuant to state law.
5. Responding to Issues
We will respond to Landowner concerns in a timely fashion. To enhance direct communications and timely responses, we will provide Landowners with a single point of contact within the company to answer any question or concern and to provide general or project-specific information.
We will engage with and promote awareness on the part of affected stakeholders early in the planning process. In broadening our outreach, we will develop relationships with, and introduce our industry to, those who might not have otherwise known about its benefits to the community and our dedication to safely providing these services.
7. Industry Ambassadors
Each company employee and representative is an ambassador for the industry. We will ensure our employees and representatives interact with stakeholders in accordance with these commitments.
8. Ongoing Commitment to Training
We believe in continuous improvement in all aspects of our business. With the demand for natural gas increasing and many new people entering the industry, we will train our representatives to interact positively and productively with Landowners and other stakeholders.