Ben Cowan, a member of Locke Lord’s Environmental Section, provided insight to E&E News on potential impacts of President-elect Joe Biden's administration on policies for the pipeline sector. Following the vacatur of Nationwide Permit 12 by a federal court, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers quickly proposed to reissue all of the Nationwide Permits. Oil and natural gas pipeline owners have expressed concerns about rushed adoption of changes to the NWP 12 program and the possible creation of more permitting uncertainty and delay. Cowan said it's possible a Biden administration could take a step back and do a more programmatic review of Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) to ensure it complies with the Endangered Species Act. If the new administration does undertake such a review, "It could delay the availability of that permit," Cowan said.
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