AGA and INGAA August 2, 2022 Comments on the Corps of Engineers’ Notice Regarding Tribal Consultations, NHPA and Environmental Justice

On August 2, 2022, AGA and INGAA filed joint comments in response to the Army Corps of Engineers’ Notice published June 2 requesting public comment on the Corps’ policy priorities, particularly Tribal consultations, National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) reviews and environmental justice issues related to permit programs under the Clean Water Act.  AGA and INGAA agreed that it would be helpful to clarify how Tribal consultation should be incorporated into the Corps’ regulatory program, and we recommended including reasonable time limits for such consultation.  Regarding the Corps NHPA regulations, we urged the Corps to clarify among other things that FERC is the lead agency for interstate natural gas pipeline projects including federal obligations under the NHPA, and that it is appropriate for the Corps to rely on a Programmatic Agreement to satisfy NGPA section 106 requirements.  INGAA and AGA support the important goals of Environmental Justice (EJ), and believe the Corps’ existing practices and guidance provide for appropriate EJ reviews and community participation.  We urged the Corps to coordinate and align its EJ work and definition of disadvantaged communities with EPA and CEQ current and future guidance and practices.