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      RS 30:555     


§555.  Construction, extension or abandonment of facilities; condemnation proceedings

A.  The commissioner shall examine periodically the status of the intrastate natural gas pipeline system to determine whether supplies of natural gas can be delivered to Louisiana natural gas users; however, he shall hold a hearing upon application for such hearing by any user of natural gas in Louisiana.  Whenever the commissioner, after notice and opportunity for hearings, finds such action necessary or desirable in the public interest and to accomplish the purposes of this Chapter, he may by order direct an intrastate natural gas transporter to extend or improve its transportation facilities, to establish physical connection of its transportation facilities with a gas field gathering system or with the pipeline facilities of another pipeline company reasonably commensurate in size and distance with the quantity of natural gas available for transportation therein.  The commissioner may determine that the exercise of the authority granted in this Section is in the public interest if a user of gas located in the state, a majority of which users' employees are Louisiana residents, or which user produces goods or services for Louisiana residents, is or will be unable to secure adequate supplies of natural gas to maintain employment or production levels without benefit of the provisions of this Section.  Provided, however, that the commissioner shall have no authority to compel the enlargement of transportation facilities for such purposes, or to compel such transporter to establish physical connection when to do so would impair its ability to render adequate service to its intrastate users, regardless of whether such service is then being rendered either directly or through another pipeline.

B.  No intrastate natural gas transporter shall abandon all or any portion of its facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner, or any service rendered by means of such facilities, without the permission and approval of the commissioner first had and obtained, after a finding by the commissioner that the available supply of natural gas is depleted to the extent that the continuance of service is unwarranted, or that the public interest and energy needs permit such abandonment.  The commissioner shall be authorized to deny abandonment based upon satisfactory evidence that a user of gas located in the state, a majority of which users' employees are Louisiana residents, or which user produces goods or services for Louisiana residents, including gas or electric service, is or will be unable to secure adequate supplies of natural gas to maintain employment, production, or service levels if abandonment is granted.

C.  No person shall engage in the transportation of intrastate natural gas for others, subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner, or undertake the construction or extension of any facilities therefor, or acquire or operate any such facilities or extensions thereof, unless there is in force with respect to such person an order of the commissioner authorizing such acts or operations unless exempt therefrom under the terms of this Chapter or waived by the commissioner under the authorities granted hereunder.  Provided, however, that if any such person or predecessor in interest was bona fide engaged in transportation of natural gas, subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner, prior to the effective date of this Chapter, over the route or routes or within the area for which application is made and has so operated since that time, the commissioner shall issue such order without requiring further proof that the public interest will be served by such operation, and without further proceedings, if application for such order is made to the commissioner within ninety days after passage of this Chapter.  Pending the determination of any such application, the continuance of such operation shall be lawful.

In all other cases the application shall be decided in accordance with the procedures otherwise provided in this Chapter, and such order shall be issued or denied accordingly.  Provided, however, that the commissioner may issue a temporary order in cases of emergency, to assure maintenance of adequate service or to serve particular customers, without notice or hearing, pending the determination of an application for a permanent order, and may by regulation exempt from the requirements of this Section temporary acts or operations for which the issuance of an order therefor will not be required in the public interest.

D.  Applications for orders as provided for in Paragraphs A, B and C above shall be made in writing to the commissioner, be verified under oath, and shall be in such form, contain such information, and notice thereof shall be served upon such interested parties in such manner as the commissioner shall, by regulation, require.

E.  Except in the cases governed by the provisions contained in Subsection C of this Section, an order shall be issued to any qualified applicant, therefor, authorizing the whole or any part of the operation, service, construction, extension, or acquisition covered by the application, if it is found that the applicant is able and willing properly to do the acts and to perform the service proposed and to conform to the provisions of this Chapter and the requirements, rules, and regulations of the commissioner thereunder, and that the proposed service, operation, construction, extension, or acquisition, to the extent authorized by the order, is or will be required by the present or future public interest; otherwise, such application shall be denied.  The commissioner shall have the power to attach to the issuance of the certificate and to the exercise of the rights granted thereunder such reasonable terms and conditions as the public interest may require.

F.  The commissioner, after a hearing had upon his own motion or upon application, may determine the service area to which each authorization under this Section is to be limited.  Within such service area as determined by the commissioner an intrastate natural gas transporter may enlarge or extend its facilities for the purpose of supplying increased market demands in such service area without further authorization.

G.  Nothing contained in this Section shall be construed as a limitation upon the power of the commissioner to issue an order for service of an area already being served by another transporter.

H.  No person shall connect its system with, move gas into, or receive gas from another pipeline system, including other pipelines or pipeline systems owned by the company, without prior approval of the commissioner.

I.  Orders issued by the commissioner pursuant to Subsections C and H of R.S. 30:555 prior to the effective date of R.S. 30:554(A), 555(C), 555(H) shall be valid if issued in compliance with R.S. 30:554(A), 555(C), 555(H).

Added by Acts 1973, Ex.Sess., No. 16, §1, emerg. eff. Dec. 8, 1973, at 9:55 A.M.  Amended by Acts 1976, No. 115, §§2, 3; Acts 1979, No. 549, §1; Acts 1979, No. 604, §1.

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