FERC Audit Report Provides Guidance Regarding Reporting Of Uplift And Capacity Payments In Electric Quarterly Reports

On October 14, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order approving an audit report providing guidance regarding how to report certain types of transactions and payments received by those participating in the FERC-jurisdictional markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTO”) and Independent System Operators (“ISO”) in a seller’s Electric Quarterly Reports (“EQR”). The audit report highlights pitfalls that market-based rate sellers should avoid when submitting EQRs and provides insight into areas of likely FERC scrutiny. In particular, FERC staff’s...

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Releases Strategic Plan for 2017-2021

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (“CSB”) released its Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 today. The Strategic Plan is the result of 18 months of staff and stakeholder development and review. The plan serves as a blueprint for the CSB’s investigative priorities over the next five years. Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland described the Board’s mission as “driving chemical safety change through independent investigations to protect people and the environment.” The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to help the Board advance its mission. The three goals listed in the Strategic...

Federal Report Identifies New Criteria for Underground Gas Storage Facilities

On October 19, a federal task force released a Final Report outlining recommendations for industry and government in the wake of the 2015 natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon in southern California. The Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety (“Task Force”), created by Congress in the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016 , convened to analyze the Aliso Canyon incident and to recommend ways to reduce the likelihood of future leaks from underground natural gas storage facilities. The Final Report sets out 44 recommendations for industry...

U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report - September 2016

NYMEX NYMEX 16-0355-BC EFRP Violation of Rule 432.X – General Offenses. In June 2015 a member company executed two EFRP transactions on two dates with the intent that they be block trades. Because there were no corresponding related positions, the EFRP transactions were non-bona fide. Pursuant to a settlement offer, the member neither admitted nor denied the violation. $15,000 penalty. NYMEX 16-0374-BC EFRP Violation of Rule 432.X – General Offenses. On a single day in July 2015 a non-member company executed one EFRP transaction that, because there was no corresponding related position, was...

PHMSA Releases Civil Penalty Policy Framework, Sets its Sight on Higher Penalties “Across the Board”

This week, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) released a General Policy Statement announcing its intent to make available to the public a Civil Penalty Policy Framework. Previously only available by request, the civil penalty framework provides insight into the factors PHMSA considers and the ranges of proposed penalties that the agency might issue in civil enforcement cases. Now, PHMSA will maintain the penalty framework on the agency’s website in an effort to provide “greater transparency” to operators and the public during the civil enforcement process...

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