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FERC-546 (Certificated Rate Filings: Gas Pipeline Rates; OMB Control Number 1902-0155) is required to implement Sections 4, 5, 16 and 7(e) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) (15 U.S.C. 717-717w). NGA Sections 4, 5 and 16 authorize the Commission to inquire into rate structures and methodologies and to set rates at a just and reasonable level. Section 7(e) authorizes the Commission to set initial rates that are in keeping with the public convenience and necessity.
The Commission uses the FERC-546 information to examine service and tariff provisions for the transportation and storage, and/or sale of natural gas in interstate commerce filed with the Commission.
When a pipeline decides to construct and operate a jurisdictional pipeline, it files an application with the Commission and receives a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. As part of its review, the Commission considers and authorizes “initial rates” for transportation and/or storage service for the pipeline. Initial rates are established for new services authorized in certificate proceedings and must meet a public convenience and necessity standard. Initial rates established in the certificate proceeding remain in effect until such rates are reviewed by the Commission in a rate proceeding. The information submitted by the pipeline company to the Commission in these applications for initial rates is the subject of FERC-546.
The Commission's reporting requirements for this information collection are provided in 18 CFR 154.4, 154.7, 154.202, 154.204-.209, and 154.602-.603. Failure to collect this information would prevent the Commission from monitoring and properly evaluating pipeline proposals to add or modify services.
The estimated cost burden to respondents is $812,381.76 (13,370 hours divided by 2,080 hours
The reporting burden includes the total time, effort, or financial resources expended to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information including: (1) Reviewing instructions; (2) developing, acquiring, installing, and utilizing technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, verifying, processing, maintaining, disclosing and providing information; (3) adjusting the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; (4) training personnel to respond to the collection of information; (5) searching data sources; (6) completing and reviewing the collection of information; and (7) transmitting, or otherwise disclosing the information.
The respondent's cost estimate is based upon salaries for professional and clerical support, as well as direct and indirect overhead costs. Direct costs include all costs directly attributable to providing this information, such as administrative costs and the cost for information technology. Indirect or overhead costs are costs incurred by an organization in support of its mission. These costs apply to activities which benefit the whole organization rather than any one particular function or activity.
Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the respondent information collection burden, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology,