En banc D.C. Circuit bars FERC from using tolling orders to delay judicial review

Source: By Barbara Grzincic, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cannot use tolling orders to block pipeline opponents from challenging its decisions in court, an en banc federal appeals court held Tuesday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously upheld FERC’s 2017 approval of the Williams Partners’ Transco Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project. However, in a 10-1 split, the court overturned 50 years of precedent that allowed the commission to extend its deadline to act on administrative appeals well beyond the 30-day limit specified in the Natural Gas Act.