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FERC also reviews proposals to build interstate natural gas pipelines, natural gas storage projects and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, and licenses non-federal hydropower projects.
Congress assigned these responsibilities to FERC in various laws enacted over nearly 100 years, such as the Federal Power Act, Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, Natural Gas Act and Interstate Commerce Act. More recently, as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congress gave FERC additional responsibility to protect the reliability and cybersecurity of the bulk power system through the establishment and enforcement of mandatory standards, as well as additional authority to enforce FERC regulatory requirements through the imposition of civil penalties and other means.
The Commission is composed of 5 commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. Commissioners serve staggered, 5-year terms and have an equal vote on regulatory matters. One member of the Commission is designated by the President to serve as Chair and FERC's administrative head.
To avoid any undue political influence or pressure, no more than 3 commissioners may belong to the same political party. There is no review of FERC decisions by the President or Congress, maintaining FERC's independence as a regulatory agency, and providing for fair and unbiased decisions. The Commission is funded through costs recovered by the fees and annual charges from the industries it regulates. For more information about FERC, please visit the FERC website.
An Emergency Response Plan (ERP) has been in place since the LNG terminal began operation in 1978; fine-tuning of these plans occurs on a continual basis. The plan has been updated, and will continue to be updated, as new projects have changed the configuration of the terminal. The ERP and operating procedures are used by plant personnel for developing emergency procedures with 3rd-party emergency responders.