Increased consumer demand for natural gas and oil has spurred the development of pipeline infrastructure projects in the United States. Pipeline companies are challenged to meet this demand while operating in a highly complex regulatory and environmental landscape. Troutman Sanders’ pipeline lawyers work closely with client companies to successfully navigate this landscape and the rigorous standards set for the development and operation of safe and reliable pipeline projects.
Regulatory Compliance, Enforcement Defense and Adjudication
The pipeline industry is the focus of intense scrutiny by legislators, law enforcement officials and environmental groups. Our pipeline lawyers have national experience resolving the regulatory, environmental and enforcement issues that arise during the construction, permitting, operation and maintenance of oil and gas pipelines. We leverage Troutman Sanders’ nationally recognized energy regulatory and environmental practices and strong working relationships with the various federal and state agencies that regulate pipeline activities to advocate for our clients. As business advisors, our primary goal is to guide our clients towards compliance and help our clients resolve disputes quickly so they can refocus their attention on their primary mission: helping fuel the global economy.
On our clients’ behalf, our lawyers interface with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), DOT’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) as well as various state agencies that regulate pipeline activities. DOJ, OIG and EPA have increased their oversight, investigation and regulation of pipeline matters. With the recent amendments to the federal Pipeline Safety Act, PHMSA is working to develop and implement new regulations, while it is also increasing its enforcement activity. Given these factors, it is essential that companies coordinate the way in which they address regulatory, civil and potential criminal issues, which often arise simultaneously.
Our pipeline clients benefit from our firm’s extensive experience in the energy industry and we work as a team with lawyers across different practices to ensure we address the unique and complex issues facing our clients. Our clients include interstate and intrastate natural gas pipelines, interstate and intrastate oil and petroleum products pipelines, investors, developers, storage companies, LDCs, large consumers, and natural gas marketing, trading and asset-management companies. We have routinely played an important role in the issues that shape this area of law, and we provide our clients with advice based on decades of experience. We are involved in federal and state rulemaking, an approach that has won our lawyers and individual clients the respect and trust of the agencies, as well as from environmental and citizen groups.
Beyond our compliance, enforcement and litigation work, we are highly experienced in transactional matters associated with mergers, acquisitions or divestitures of pipeline assets. We advise our clients on all aspects of pipeline development projects – from managing due diligence efforts to assisting new owners with navigating the applicable regulatory framework, for both experienced pipeline companies, as well as asset management firms. We emphasize a full service approach to client matters, drawing on the extensive resources of lawyers from across the firm’s core practice areas, including corporate tax, antitrust, real estate, government relations and regulatory compliance, project development and finance, energy regulation, real estate and construction law.
Related areas of representation include the following: