WASHINGTON— Phillip D. Wright, President of Williams Gas Pipeline and Chairman of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) Board of Directors, announced today that the interstate natural gas pipeline industry has adopted a set of commitments to enhance communications with landowners in connection with the construction of new pipeline facilities. Mr. Wright stated: “Given the unprecedented level of energy infrastructure development that is occurring across the United States, it now is more important than ever that pipeline companies engage with landowners in a respectful, informative and clear manner when communicating about their proposed projects and when negotiating rights-of-way.”
The INGAA commitments, developed by a task force of pipeline company senior executives chaired by Gregory J. Rizzo, Group Vice President of Spectra Energy, are founded on the core principle that strong, lasting relationships with landowners must be built on respect and trust. An important part of developing respect and trust involves clear and timely communication with landowners about the relationship between right-of-way acquisition and the legal authority conferred when, and if, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issues a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing the project. One of the commitments adopted by the INGAA companies is an undertaking to communicate clearly with landowners that eminent domain cannot be exercised pursuant to federal law until FERC has authorized the project.
INGAA’s member pipeline companies have completed an accelerated program to brief their employees and agents who represent them in dealing with landowners and other stakeholders. A copy of the commitments adopted by INGAA’s member pipeline companies is attached to this release.