Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines, 43590-43598 [2021-16915]

Download as PDF 43590 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 151 / Tuesday, August 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Environmental Review The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,’’ paragraph 5–6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant the preparation of an environmental assessment. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air). Adoption of the Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows: PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959–1963 Comp., p. 389. § 71.1 [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11E, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated July 21, 2020, and effective September 15, 2020, is amended as follows: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES ■ Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. * * * * Jkt 253001 Final rule. Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area. * DATES: * * * * AAL AK E4 Kodiak, AK [Removed] Kodiak Airport, AK (Lat. 57°45′00″ N, long. 152°29′38″ W) Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. * * * * * AAL AK E5 Kodiak, AK [Amended] Kodiak Airport, AK (Lat. 57°44′59″ N, long. 152°29′38″ W) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.9-mile radius of the airport, and within 8 miles north and 4.1 miles south of the 071° bearing from the airport, extending from the 6.9-mile radius and extending from 5.2 miles east of the airport to 21.2 miles east of the airport, excluding that airspace extending beyond 12 miles of the shoreline; and that airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 73-mile radius of the Kodiak Airport, AK, excluding that airspace extending beyond 12 miles of the shoreline. [FR Doc. 2021–16827 Filed 8–9–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P SUMMARY: Effective date: This rule is effective October 12, 2021. Compliance date: Compliance filings required by this rule are due on November 12, 2021 and compliance with the standards incorporated in this rule is required on and after June 1, 2022. Incorporation by reference: The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of October 12, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stanley Wolf (technical issues), Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502–6841, stanley.wolf@ ferc.gov. Oscar F. Santillana (technical issues), Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502– 6392, oscar.santillana@ferc.gov. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Robert McLean (legal issues), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502–8156, robert.mclean@ ferc.gov. 18 CFR Part 284 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [Docket No. RM96–1–042; Order No. 587– Z] Order No. 587–Z Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines (Issued July 13, 2021) * 16:06 Aug 09, 2021 ACTION: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is amending its regulations to incorporate by reference, with certain enumerated exceptions, the latest version (Version 3.2) of business practice standards adopted by the Wholesale Gas Quadrant of the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) applicable to natural gas pipelines in place of the currently incorporated version (Version 3.1) of those business practice standards. The revisions made by NAESB in this version of the standards are designed to enhance the natural gas industries’ system and software security measures and to clarify the processing of certain business transactions. Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on August 2, 2021. B.G. Chew, Acting Group Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center. AAL AK D Kodiak, AK [Amended] Kodiak Airport, AK (Lat. 57°44′59″ N, long. 152°29′38″ W) Trident Basin Airport, AK (Lat. 57°46′51″ N, long. 152°23′29″ W) That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,600 feet MSL within a 4.4-mile radius of the airport, and within 1 mile each side of the 091° bearing from the airport, extending from the 4.4-mile radius to 6.1 miles east of Kodiak Airport, excluding that airspace west and northwest of a line beginning at the 228° bearing from Kodiak Airport, to the 308° bearing at 2.9 miles from Kodiak Airport, to the 012° VerDate Sep<11>2014 bearing from Kodiak Airport, and excluding that airspace from the 024° bearing from the Kodiak Airport to the 325° bearing at 1.0 mile from Trident Basin Airport, and excluding that airspace within a 1.0-mile radius of Trident Basin Airport from the 325° bearing from Trident Basin Airport counterclockwise to the 250° bearing from Trident Basin airport, and within a 0.3-mile radius of Trident Basin Airport from the 250° bearing from Trident Basin Airport counterclockwise to the 119° bearing from the Trident Basin Airport, and from the 119° bearing at 0.3 miles from Trident Basin Airport to the 072° bearing at 4.4 miles from Kodiak Airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Final Rule Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 151 / Tuesday, August 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 43591 Table of Contents Paragraph Nos. I. Background ................................................................................................................................................................................ II. Discussion ................................................................................................................................................................................ A. The NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 Business Practice Standards ......................................................................................... 1. Modifications to Previous Version of Standards ..................................................................................................... B. NAESB’s Process ............................................................................................................................................................... C. Adoption of Version 3.2 of the Standards ...................................................................................................................... D. Required Compliance Filings ........................................................................................................................................... E. Implementation Schedule ................................................................................................................................................ III. Notice of Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards ................................................................................................................ IV. Incorporation by Reference .................................................................................................................................................... V. Information Collection Statement ........................................................................................................................................... VI. Environmental Analysis ......................................................................................................................................................... VII. Regulatory Flexibility Act ..................................................................................................................................................... VIII. Document Availability ......................................................................................................................................................... IX. Effective Date and Congressional Notification ..................................................................................................................... jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 1. In this Final Rule, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) amends its regulations at 18 CFR 284.12 to incorporate by reference, with certain enumerated exceptions,1 the latest version (Version 3.2) of business practice standards adopted by NAESB’s WGQ applicable to natural gas pipelines that NAESB reported to the Commission on August 17, 2020 in place of the currently incorporated version (Version 3.1) of those business practice standards. This Final Rule requires interstate natural gas pipelines to file compliance filings with the Commission by November 12, 2021 and to comply with the standards incorporated by reference in this rule on and after June 1, 2022. 2. The implementation of these standards and regulations will promote the additional efficiency and reliability of the natural gas industries’ operations thereby helping the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Further, the implementation of these standards will enhance the natural gas industries’ computer security requirements.2 In addition, the implementation of these data requirements will provide additional transparency to Informational Postings websites and will improve communication standards. 3. The NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 package of standards contains revisions to the NAESB WGQ Version 3.1 package of standards. As explained further below, in response to the recommendations in the Sandia 1 As explained below, we are not incorporating by reference in this Final Rule the optional model contracts and the eTariff-related standards included in the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) Wholesale Gas Quadrant (WGQ) Version 3.2 package of business practice standards. 2 As explained below, NAESB has developed and adopted, in conjunction with Sandia National Laboratories, a series of business practice standards to protect the natural gas industries’ internet security. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Aug 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 National Laboratory (Sandia) 3 report, NAESB updated the Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism (EDM) Related Standards and internet Electronic Transport (IET) Related Standards to specifically: (1) Require the implementation of fixes or patches for known vulnerabilities as soon as reasonably practicable in coordination with other trading partners; (2) specify notification timelines to provide notice to trading partners of any systems or software that have not been updated and the potential impact of using the vulnerable system; (3) include both specific and broad adoptions of system security measures and specific notification and coordination during outages with affected trading partners; (4) maintain a minimum encryption strength of 128 bits, (5) specify that OpenPGP 4 should be used to create public and private keys for privacy and digital signature applications; (6) specify Hyper-Text Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS) 5 whenever secure communication is required to protect information in transit and support overall privacy needs; (7) use the largest feasible key length consistent with implementation of current business processes; (8) state that secure websites 3 Sandia is a multidisciplinary national laboratory and federally funded research and development center for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration that supports numerous federal, state, and local government agencies, companies, and organizations. 4 OpenPGP is an encryption standard defined by the internet Engineering Task Force enabling design and implementation free of licensing fees. At present, the encryption method is generally considered the most secure. 5 HTTPS authentication encrypts username and password combinations as part of a Uniform Resource Locator address. To obtain an HTTPS connection, a web browser must contact a trusted, commercial Certificate Authority, such as a NAESB Authorized Certificate Authority, to obtain the web server’s public key, and follow other applicable HTTPS procedures. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 5 12 12 12 22 23 25 26 28 29 39 46 47 50 53 should employ individual user credentials; and (9) encourage security assessments and coordination between customers, vendors, and trading partners. 4. Further, in response to industry requests or through the normal course of WGQ activities, NAESB: (1) Updated the Nominations Related Standards to allow a Service Requester to determine which rights of the contract its segmentation nomination is using; (2) updated the Quadrant EDM Related Standards to (i) define a NAESB standard time frame for information to be retained on a pipeline’s Informational Postings website, (ii) allow for processing functions at the line item level on Customer Activities websites and allow for the use of icons and/or graphical control elements for navigation and/or processing functions, and (iii) make minor revisions designed to add clarity, update the minimum technical characteristics to account for changes in technology since the previous version (Version 3.1) of the WGQ standards, and update the minimum and suggested operating systems and web browsers that entities should support; (3) updated multiple sets of standards to remove references to the term ‘‘gigacalories’’ and add the term ‘‘gigajoules’’ as the standard quantity for nominations, confirmations, and scheduling in Mexico; and (4) revised the NAESB WGQ data sets or other technical implementation documentation while not resulting in modifications to the underlying business practice standards. I. Background 5. Since 1996, the Commission has adopted regulations to standardize the business practices and communication methodologies of interstate natural gas pipelines to create a more integrated and efficient pipeline system. These regulations have been promulgated in E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 43592 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 151 / Tuesday, August 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES the Order No. 587 series of orders,6 wherein the Commission has incorporated by reference standards for interstate natural gas pipeline business practices and electronic communications that were developed and adopted by NAESB’s WGQ. Upon incorporation by reference, this version of the standards will replace the currently incorporated version (Version 3.1) of those business practice standards. 6. On August 17, 2020, NAESB filed a report informing the Commission that it had adopted and ratified WGQ Version 3.2 of its business practice standards applicable to interstate natural gas pipelines. Version 3.2 of the WGQ includes business practice standards developed and modified in response to industry requests and directives from the NAESB Board of Directors. This version also includes the standards developed in response to the recommendations of Sandia, which in 2019 issued a cybersecurity surety assessment of the NAESB standards sponsored by DOE (Sandia Surety Assessment),7 and the standards developed to enable the use of distributed ledger technologies when transacting the NAESB Base Contract for Sale and Purchase of Natural Gas. 7. The NAESB report identifies all the changes made to the WGQ Version 3.1 Standards and summarizes the deliberations that led to the changes being made. It also identifies changes to the existing standards that were considered but not adopted due to a lack of consensus or other reasons. 8. On February 18, 2021, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to amend its regulations to incorporate by reference, with certain enumerated exceptions, the NAESB WGQ Version 6 This series of orders began with the Commission’s issuance of Standards for Bus. Pracs. of Interstate Nat. Gas Pipelines., Ord. No. 587, 61 FR 39053 (July 26, 1996), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,038 (1996) (cross-referenced at 76 FERC ¶ 61,042). 7 In April 2017, NAESB announced that Sandia, through funding provided by DOE, would be performing a surety assessment of the NAESB standards. As determined by Sandia and DOE, the purpose of the surety assessment was to analyze cybersecurity elements within the standards, focusing on four areas: (1) The NAESB Certification Program for Accredited Certification Authorities, including the Wholesale Electric Quadrant (WEQ)– 012 Public Key Infrastructure Business Practice Standards, the NAESB Accreditation Requirements for Authorized Certificate Authorities, and the Authorized Certification Authority Process; (2) the WEQ Open Access Same-Time Information Systems suite of standards; (3) the WGQ and Retail Markets Quadrant IET and Quadrant EDM Related Standards Manual; and (4) a high-level dependency analysis between the gas and electric markets to evaluate the different security paradigms the markets employ. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Aug 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 3.2 business practice standards (referenced above) applicable to natural gas pipelines.8 9. In response to the Version 3.2 NOPR, NAESB and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) filed comments. NAESB clarifies that Standards 4.3.60 and 10.3.16 do not require multi-factor (e.g., two-factor) authentication on an individual basis. NAESB clarifies that Standard 4.3.60 states that a Customer Activities website should be protected by [Hyper-Text Transport Protocol] (HTTP) 9 Basic Authentication using transport layer security and require a single logon/password pair for each user session. NAESB further clarifies that Standard 10.3.16 states that trading partners should implement HTTP Basic Authentication using transport layer security.10 INGAA supports NAESB’s clarifying comments.11 10. INGAA expresses support for the Commission’s proposal to incorporate by reference NAESB’s WGQ Version 3.2 business practice standards. INGAA also supports the Commission’s proposal in the Version 3.2 NOPR, but urges the Commission to ensure that implementation of a Final Rule in this proceeding occurs for the first gas day of the month, but not prior to April 1, 2022, after the winter heating season. INGAA states that implementation of a Final Rule in this proceeding will require substantial time and effort from both pipelines and their customers to alter business systems, scheduling, and coordination processes and, thus, it would be best to schedule implementation to not occur during the winter heating season.12 11. Further, INGAA states that requiring implementation to occur for the first gas day of the month is important for both pipelines and shippers. INGAA explains that while pipelines update their software to accommodate the new NAESB version ahead of the implementation date, both pipelines and shippers need to ensure that contract, nomination, allocation, invoice, and other changes will be fully in place and working properly with the start of the gas month. INGAA states that this is consistent with the 8 Standards for Bus. Pracs. of Interstate Nat. Gas Pipelines, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 86 FR 12879 (Mar. 5, 2021), 174 FERC ¶ 61,103 (2021) (Version 3.2 NOPR). 9 HTTP is the original communications protocol of the internet which enables a web browser to depict text, pictures, shapes, live data, and click targets on a web browser. However, username and password combinations are not encrypted in HTTP Basic Authentication. 10 NAESB Cmts. at 1. 11 INGAA Cmts. at 3. 12 Id. at 2. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 industry’s monthly billing cycle and shall avoid the complications of a midmonth transition.13 II. Discussion A. The NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 Business Practice Standards 1. Modifications to Previous Version of Standards a. Modifications in Response to the Sandia Surety Assessment 12. NAESB revised previously incorporated standards and developed new standards in response to the recommendations in the Sandia Surety Assessment. Specifically, NAESB adopted revisions to the WGQ EDM Related Business Practice Standards, which establish the framework for the electronic dissemination and communication of information between parties in the North American wholesale gas marketplace, and to the WGQ IET Related Business Practice Standards, which define the implementation of various technologies necessary to communicate transactions and other electronic data using standard protocols for electronic commerce over the internet between trading partners. First, NAESB adopted two new standards, 4.3.109 and 10.3.28, to provide that trading partners should evaluate software fixes or patches for known vulnerabilities within 30 days and implement the fix or patch as soon as reasonably practicable based on the severity of the risk. Second, NAESB adopted two new standards, 4.3.110 and 10.3.29, to provide that trading partners should mutually agree to the version of the EDM and IET to be used. Third, the new standards specify notification and coordination timelines with trading partners, where applicable, to address vulnerable systems or software as soon as possible. Fourth, the Sandia Surety Assessment recommended that NAESB consider guidelines for configuration and logging, network traffic monitoring, alerting systems, and manual continuity of operations in the event of abnormal behavior or failure conditions within the system. In response, NAESB added language to new Standards 4.3.110 and 10.3.28 to include both specific and broad adoptions of such system security measures. 13. Further, NAESB added language to existing Standards 4.3.60, 4.3.61, 10.2.33, and 10.3.25 to clarify the Transport Layer Security protocol,14 13 Id. 14 The National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Pub. 800–52 requires government Transport Layer Security servers and clients to support Transport Layer Security Version E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 151 / Tuesday, August 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations which encrypts data to hide information from electronic observers on the internet. NAESB also deleted all references to the Secure Sockets Layer protocol in the standards. 14. Concerning identification key lengths, the Sandia Surety Assessment recommended that Rivest-ShamirAdelman keys 15 must be no shorter than 2048 bits, Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm keys 16 must be no shorter than 224 bits, Hash 17 algorithms should be from the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA)–2 18 or SHA–3 families, and acceptable Advanced Encryption Standard key lengths range from 128, to 192, to 256. The Sandia Surety Assessment recommended that, in general, implementors use the largest feasible key length consistent with implementation of current business processes. In response, NAESB deleted Standard 4.3.83 to remove legacy support references and maintain a minimum encryption strength of 128 bits. Further, NAESB revised existing Standards 10.2.34 and 10.3.15 to delete a proprietary Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) 19-related hyperlink and to accommodate license-free OpenPGP, respectively. NAESB also adopted a new Standard 10.2.39 to specify that OpenPGP should be used to create public and private keys for privacy and digital signature applications. 15. Further, NAESB revised existing Standards 4.3.60, 4.3.84, 10.3.4, and 10.3.16 to specify HTTPS, which is an encrypted version of HTTP, whenever a secure communication is required to protect information in transit and support overall privacy needs. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES b. Modifications in Response to Industry Requests 16. The following section describes standards development efforts undertaken by NAESB in response to industry requests or through the normal course of WGQ activities that resulted in modifications to the Nomination Related Standards, Quadrant EDM 1.2 and recommends support for Transport Layer Security Version 1.3 by the year 2024. 15 Rivest-Shamir-Adelman is a public key infrastructure algorithm composed of a public component and a private component that is typically installed on a recognized Certificate Authority. 16 Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm public keys generate an encrypted signature to validate data. 17 A Hash is a cryptology technique used for digital signatures in which a series of numbers that may represent, for example, a password, an image, a document, or an executable file is used to generate a cryptographic hash (i.e., a large number). 18 SHA–2 is a set of cryptographic hash functions. 19 PGP is a proprietary (i.e., an organization must pay to use it) encryption program developed to enhance the confidentiality and integrity of data. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Aug 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 Related Standards, and an effort that impacted multiple sets of standards. NAESB made corresponding revisions, where appropriate, to the related data sets and technical implementation as part of the standards development effort. i. Nomination Related Standards 17. NAESB revised existing Standards 1.3.27, 1.4.1, and 1.4.2 to add a new data element ‘‘Capacity Block ID’’ to allow a Service Requester to determine which primary point rights of the contract their segmented nomination 20 is using and eliminate an existing manual business process from the TSP to automate the business process. ii. Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism Related Standards 18. NAESB developed two new standards, Standard 4.3.107 to establish a standard data retention period for retrieval of Operationally Available data from the Informational Postings website, and Standard 4.3.108, to establish a standard data retention period for retrieval of Notices for the subcategories of Critical, Non-Critical, and Planned Service Outage from the Informational Postings website. iii. Revisions Impacting Multiple Standards 19. NAESB revised multiple standards 21 and data sets 22 to remove references to the term ‘‘gigacalories’’ and add the term ‘‘gigajoules,’’ as the standard quantity for nominations, confirmations, and scheduling in Mexico. iv. Other Material in NAESB’s Report 20. NAESB revised multiple data sets which impacted technical implementation documentation only. 21. Further, NAESB revised its optional model contracts and corresponding Mexican and Canadian Addendums to reflect a standard digital representation of natural gas trade events. NAESB states that these revisions are intended to capitalize on smart contracts and distributed ledger technologies. 20 In order for a Service Requester to have control over its segmented nomination(s), the Transportation Service Provider (TSP) will require a ‘‘Capacity Block ID’’ to be submitted with each nomination line item specifying a Transaction Type of ‘‘Segmented.’’ 21 NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 Standards 1.3.14, 1.3.15, 1.3.82, and 3.3.3. 22 NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 Standards 0.4.1 through 0.4.3, 1.4.1, 1.4.3 through 1.4.6, 2.4.1, 2.4.6, 2.4.17, 3.4.1, 3.4.2, and 5.4.24 through 5.4.26. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 43593 B. NAESB’s Process 22. NAESB used its consensus procedures to develop and approve the WGQ Version 3.2 Standards. As the Commission found in Order No. 587, the adoption of consensus standards is appropriate, because the consensus process helps ensure the reasonableness of the standards by requiring that the standards draw support from a broad spectrum of industry participants representing all segments of the industry. Moreover, since the industry itself must conduct business under these standards, the Commission’s regulations should reflect those standards that have the widest possible support. In section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTT&AA),23 Congress affirmatively requires federal agencies to use technical standards developed by voluntary consensus standards organizations, like NAESB, as means to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies unless an agency determines that the use of such standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. C. Adoption of Version 3.2 of the Standards 23. In the Version 3.2 NOPR, the Commission proposed to incorporate by reference, in its regulations, Version 3.2 of the NAESB WGQ consensus business practice standards, with the exception of NAESB’s standards specifying the terms of optional model contracts and the eTariff-related standards.24 None of the commenters opposed the Commission’s proposal to incorporate by reference the NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 business practice standards as proposed in the Version 3.2 NOPR.25 24. After a review of the comments filed in response to the Version 3.2 NOPR, and because the revisions made by NAESB in this version of the standards are designed to enhance the natural gas industries’ system and software security measures and to clarify the processing of certain business transactions, we amend Part 284 of the Commission’s regulations to incorporate by reference the NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 business practice standards, with the exceptions (as explained in the Version 3.2 NOPR) of the optional model contracts and the eTariff-related standards. 23 Public Law 104–113, 12(d), 110 Stat. 775 (1996). 24 Version 3.2 NOPR, 174 FERC ¶ 61,103 at n.1 & P 19. 25 NAESB’s clarifying comments regarding revised existing Standards 4.3.60 and 10.3.16 are discussed separately in section II above. E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 43594 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 151 / Tuesday, August 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations D. Required Compliance Filings 25. As suggested by INGAA, we have selected an implementation schedule for compliance with this Final Rule that delays implementation until after the 2021–2022 winter heating period. To implement the standards that we are incorporating by reference in this Final Rule, we will require each interstate natural gas pipeline to file a separate tariff record reflecting the changed standards by November 12, 2021, to take effect on June 1, 2022 26 We are adopting this implementation schedule to give the interstate natural gas pipelines subject to these standards adequate time to implement these changes. E. Implementation Schedule 26. To implement these standards, we require interstate natural gas pipelines to file tariff records to reflect the changed standards by November 12, 2021. None of the comments took issue with the Commission’s explanation of its policies on tariff filings and on waiver requests to comply with these standards.27 Therefore, we are not modifying these policies in this Final Rule and affirm the explanation of those policies the Commission made in the Version 3.2 NOPR. 27. In addition, consistent with the requirements in Order No. 587–W,28 we are including the following filing requirements for the November 12, 2021 compliance filing to increase the transparency of the pipelines’ incorporation by reference of the NAESB WGQ Standards so that shippers and the Commission will know which tariff provision(s) implements each standard as well as the status of each standard. (1) The pipelines must designate a single tariff record under which every NAESB standard currently incorporated by reference by the Commission is listed.29 This section should be a separate tariff record under the Commission’s electronic tariff filing requirement and should be filed electronically using the eTariff portal using the Type of Filing Code 580. We will post on the Commission’s eLibrary website (under Docket No. RM96–1– 042) a sample tariff record, to provide filers an illustrative example to aid them in preparing their compliance filings; 30 (2) For each standard, each pipeline must specify in the tariff record a list of all the NAESB standards currently incorporated by reference by the Commission: (a) whether the standard is incorporated by reference; (b) for those standards not incorporated by reference, the tariff provision that complies with the standard; 31 and (c) a statement identifying any standards for which the pipeline has been granted a waiver, extension of time, or other variance with respect to compliance with the standard.32 (3) If the pipeline is requesting a continuation of a previously granted waiver or extension of time to comply with certain NAESB WGQ standards, it must include a table in its transmittal letter that states the standard for which a waiver or extension of time was granted, and the docket number or order citation to the proceeding in which the waiver or extension of time was granted. III. Notice of Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards 28. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A–119 (section 11) (Feb. 10, 1998) provides that when a federal agency issues or revises a regulation containing a standard, the agency should publish a statement in the Final Rule stating whether the adopted standard is a voluntary consensus standard or a government-unique standard. In this Final Rule, we are incorporating by reference voluntary consensus standards developed by NAESB’s WGQ. In section 12(d) of NTT&AA, Congress affirmatively requires federal agencies to use technical standards developed by voluntary consensus standards organizations to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies unless use of such standards would be inconsistent with 30 Id. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 26 To aid in compliance, promptly after issuance of this Final Rule, we will post a sample tariff record on the Commission’s website that may be accessed at https://www.ferc.gov/ferc-online/ elibrary. All interstate natural gas pipelines are to file their tariff records in conformance with this sample tariff record. 27 Version 3.2 NOPR, 174 FERC ¶ 61,103 at PP 20–24. 28 Standards for Bus. Pracs. of Interstate Nat. Gas Pipelines, Ord. No. 587–W, 80 FR 67302 (Nov. 2, 2015), 153 FERC ¶ 61,061, at P 42 (2015) (Ord. No. 587–W). 29 See supra n.21. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:35 Aug 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 31 For example, pipelines are required to include the full text of the NAESB nomination and capacity release timeline standards (WGQ Standards 1.3.2(ivi) and 5.3.2, respectively) in their tariffs. See, e.g., Standards for Bus. Pracs. of Interstate Nat. Gas Pipelines, Ord. No. 587–U, 75 FR 16337 (Apr. 1, 2010), 130 FERC ¶ 61,212, at P 39 & n.42 (2010). Each pipeline’s submittal is to identify which tariff provision complies with each of these standards. 32 Shippers can use the Commission’s electronic tariff system to locate the tariff record containing the NAESB WGQ standards, which will indicate the docket number in which any waiver or extension of time was granted. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 applicable law or otherwise impractical.33 IV. Incorporation by Reference 29. The Office of the Federal Register requires agencies incorporating material by reference in final rules to discuss the ways that the materials it incorporates by reference are reasonably available to interested parties and how interested parties can obtain the materials.34 The regulations also require agencies to summarize, in the preamble of the final rule, the material it incorporates by reference. The standards that we are incorporating by reference in this Final Rule consist of seven suites of NAESB WGQ Business Practice Standards that address a variety of topics and are designed to streamline the transactional processes for the wholesale natural gas industry by promoting a more competitive and efficient market. These include the: Additional Business Practice Standards; Nominations Related Business Practice Standards; Flowing Gas Related Business Practice Standards; Invoicing Related Business Practice Standards; Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism Related Business Practice Standards; Capacity Release Related Business Practice Standards; and internet Electronic Transport Related Business Practice Standards. We summarize these standards below. 30. The Additional Business Practice Standards address six areas: Creditworthiness; Storage Information; Gas/Electric Operational Communications; Operational Capacity; Unsubscribed Capacity; and Location Data Download. • The Creditworthiness related standards describe requirements for the exchange of information, notification, and communication between parties during the creditworthiness evaluation process. • The Storage Information related standards define the information to be provided to natural gas service requesters related to storage activities and/or balances. • The Gas/Electric Operational Communications related standards define communication protocols intended to improve coordination between the gas and electric industries in daily operational communications between transportation service providers and gas-fired power plants. The standards include requirements for communicating anticipated power generation fuel for the upcoming day as 33 Public Law 104–113, 12(d), 110 Stat. 775 (1996), 15 U.S.C. 272 note (1997). 34 1 CFR 51.5 (2020). See Incorporation by Reference, 79 FR 66267 (Nov. 7, 2014). E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 151 / Tuesday, August 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations well as any operating problems that might hinder gas-fired power plants from receiving contractual gas quantities. • The Operational Capacity related standards define requirements of the transportation service provider related to the reporting and requesting of a transportation service provider’s operational capacity, total scheduled quantity, and operationally available capacity. • The Unsubscribed Capacity related standards define requirements of the transportation service provider related to the reporting and requesting of a transportation service provider’s available unsubscribed capacity. • The Location Data Download related standards define requirements for the use of codes assigned by the transportation service provider for locations and common codes for parties communicating electronically. 31. The Nominations Related Business Practice Standards define the process by which a natural gas service requester with a natural gas transportation contract nominates (or requests) service from a pipeline or a transportation service provider for the delivery of natural gas. 32. The Flowing Gas Related Business Practice Standards define the business processes related to the communication of entitlement rights of flowing gas at a location, of the entitlement rights on a contractual basis, of the management of imbalances, and of the measurement and gas quality information of the actual flow of gas. 33. The Invoicing Related Business Practice Standards define the process for the communication of charges for services rendered (Invoice), communication of details about funds rendered in payment for services rendered (Payment Remittance), and communication of the financial status of a customer’s account (Statement of Account). 34. The Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism Related Business Practice Standards define the framework for the electronic dissemination and communication of information between parties in the North American wholesale gas marketplace for Electronic Data Interchange/EDM transfers, batch flat file/EDM transfers, informational postings websites, Electronic Bulletin Boards/EDM, and interactive flat file/ EDM. 35. The Capacity Release Related Business Practice Standards define the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Aug 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 business processes for communication of information related to the selling of all or any portion of a transmission service requester’s contract rights. 36. The internet Electronic Transport Related Business Practice Standards define the implementation of various technologies necessary to communicate transactions and other electronic data using standard protocols for electronic commerce over the internet between trading partners. 37. The Commission’s regulations provide that copies of the standards incorporated by reference may be obtained from NAESB at https:// www.naesb.org// or (713) 356–0060. Once the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID–19) restrictions are lifted, copies of the standards may be inspected at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, Phone: (202) 502–8371, https://www.ferc.gov/. At this time, the Commission has suspended access to the Commission’s Public Reference Room due to the President’s March 13, 2020 proclamation declaring a National Emergency concerning COVID–19. 38. NAESB is a private consensus standards developer that develops voluntary wholesale and retail standards related to the energy industry. The procedures used by NAESB make its standards reasonably available to those affected by Commission regulations, which generally is comprised of entities that have the means to acquire the information they need to effectively participate in Commission proceedings. Participants can join NAESB, for an annual membership cost of $8,000, which entitles them to full participation in NAESB and enables them to obtain these standards at no additional cost. Non-members may obtain the Individual Standards Manual or Booklets for each of the seven Manuals by email for $250 per manual, which in the case of these standards would total $1,750. Nonmembers also may obtain the complete set of Standards Manuals, Booklets, and Contracts on USB flash drive for $2,000. NAESB also provides a free electronic read-only version of the standards for a three-business day period or, in the case of a regulatory comment period, through the end of the comment period. In addition, NAESB considers requests for waivers of the charges on a case-by-case basis depending on need. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 43595 V. Information Collection Statement 39. OMB regulations require that OMB approve certain reporting, record keeping, and public disclosure requirements (information collection) imposed by an agency.35 Therefore, we are submitting this proposed information collection to OMB for review in accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Upon approval of a collection of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of a rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collections of information unless the collection of information displays a valid OMB control number. 40. The Commission solicited comments on the need for this information, whether the information will have practical utility, the accuracy of the provided burden estimates, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and any suggested methods for minimizing respondents’ burden, including the use of automated information techniques. No comments were filed raising any objections to the burden estimate presented in the Version 3.2 NOPR. Accordingly, we will use that same burden estimate in this Final Rule. 41. Public Reporting Burden: The burden estimates for this Final Rule are for one-time implementation of the information collection requirements of this Final Rule (including tariff filing, documentation of the process and procedures, and information technology work). 42. The collections of information related to this Final Rule fall under FERC–545 (Gas Pipeline Rates: Rate Change (Non-Formal)) 36 and FERC– 549C (Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines).37 The following estimates of reporting burden are related only to this Final Rule and include the costs to pipelines for compliance with the Commission’s directives in this Final Rule. The burden estimates are primarily related to implementing these standards and regulations and will not result in ongoing costs. 35 5 CFR 1320.11 (2020). covers rate change filings made by natural gas pipelines, including tariff changes. 37 FERC–549C covers Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines. 36 FERC–545 E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 43596 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 151 / Tuesday, August 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations RM96–1–042 FINAL RULE (STANDARDS FOR BUSINESS PRACTICES OF INTERSTATE NATURAL GAS PIPELINES) Number of respondents 38 Annual number of responses per respondent Total number of responses Average burden hr. per response Total annual burden hours & total annual cost 39 Annual costs per respondent (1) (2) (1)*(2) = (3) (4) (3)*(4) = (5) (5)/(1) = (6) FERC–545 (one-time) ........................ 178 1 178 10 hrs.; $1,010 FERC–549C (one-time) ..................... 178 1 178 100 hrs.; $10,100. Total ................................................... ........................ ........................ 356 ........................... jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES The one-time burden (for both the FERC–545 and FERC–549C) will take place in Year 1 and will be averaged over three years: FERC–545: 1,780 hours ÷ 3 = 593 hours/ year over three years FERC–549C: 17,800 hours ÷ 3 = 5,933 hours/year over three years The number of responses is also averaged over three years (for both the FERC–545 and FERC–549C): FERC–545: 178 responses ÷ 3 = 59 responses/year FERC–549C: 178 responses ÷ 3 = 59 responses/year The responses and burden for Years 1–3 will total respectively as follows: Year 1: 59 responses; 593 hours (FERC– 545); 5,933 hours (FERC–549C) Year 2: 59 responses; 593 hours (FERC– 545); 5,933 hours (FERC–549C) Year 3: 59 responses; 593 hours (FERC– 545); 5,933 hours (FERC–549C) Title: FERC–545, Gas Pipeline Rates: Rates Change (Non-Formal); FERC– 549C, Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines. Action: Proposed information collections. 38 The number of respondents is the number of entities in which a change in burden from the current standards to the proposed exists, not the total number of entities from the current or proposed standards that are applicable. 39 The estimated hourly cost (salary plus benefits) provided in this section is based on the salary figures for May 2019 posted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Utilities sector (available at https:// www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics3_221000.htm) and scaled to reflect benefits using the relative importance of employer costs for employee compensation from June 2020 (available at https:// www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm). The hourly estimates for salary plus benefits are: Computer and Information Systems Manager (Occupation Code: 11–3021), $101.58 Computer and Information Analysts (Occupation Code: 15–1210), $87.42 Electrical Engineer (Occupation Code: 17–2071), $70.19 Legal (Occupation Code: 23–0000), $142.65 The average hourly cost (salary plus benefits), weighting all of these skill sets evenly, is $100.50. We round it to $101/hour. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:35 Aug 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 OMB Control Nos.: 1902–0154 (FERC– 545), 1902–0174 (FERC–549C). Respondents: Business or other for profit (e.g., Natural Gas Pipelines, applicable to only a few small businesses). Frequency of Responses: One-time implementation (related to business procedures, capital/start-up). Necessity of Information: In response to the recommendations in the Sandia report, the revisions in this Final Rule to the Commission’s regulations will upgrade current business practices and communication standards by updating the Quadrant EDM Related Standards and IET Related Standards to specifically: (1) Require the implementation of fixes or patches for known vulnerabilities as soon as reasonably practicable in coordination with other trading partners; (2) specify notification timelines to provide notice to trading partners of any systems or software that have not been updated and the potential impact of using the vulnerable system; (3) include both specific and broad adoptions of system security measures and specific notification and coordination during outages with affected trading partners; (4) maintain a minimum encryption strength of 128 bits; (5) specify that OpenPGP should be used to create public and private keys for privacy and digital signature applications; (6) specify HTTPS whenever secure communication is required to protect information in transit and support overall privacy needs; (7) use the largest feasible key length consistent with implementation of current business processes; (8) state that secure websites should employ individual user credentials; and (9) encourage security assessments and coordination between customers, vendors, and trading partners. 43. Further, in response to industry requests or through the normal course of WGQ activities, the revisions in this PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 1,780 hrs.; $179,780. 17,800 hrs.; $1,797,800. 19,580 hrs.; $1,977,580. $1,010 $10,100 ........................ Final Rule to the Commission’s regulations will upgrade current business practices and communication standards by specifically: (1) Updating the Nominations Related Standards to allow a Service Requester to determine which rights of the contract its segmentation nomination is using; (2) updating the Quadrant EDM Related Standards to (i) define a NAESB standard time frame for information to be retained on a pipeline’s Informational Postings website, (ii) allow for processing functions at the line item level on Customer Activities websites and allow for the use of icons and/or graphical control elements for navigation and/or processing functions, and (iii) make minor revisions designed to add clarity, update the minimum technical characteristics to account for changes in technology since the previous version (Version 3.1) of the WGQ standards, and update the minimum and suggested operating systems and web browsers that entities should support; (3) updating multiple sets of standards to remove references to the term ‘‘gigacalories’’ and add the term ‘‘gigajoules’’ as the standard quantity for nominations, confirmations, and scheduling in Mexico; and (4) revising the NAESB WGQ data sets or other technical implementation documentation while not resulting in modifications to the underlying business practice standards. The package of standards also includes minor corrections. The implementation of these data requirements will provide additional transparency to Informational Postings websites and will improve communication standards. The implementation of these standards and regulations will promote the additional efficiency and reliability of the natural gas industries’ operations thereby helping the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under the NGA. In addition, the Commission’s Office of E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 151 / Tuesday, August 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Enforcement will use the data for general industry oversight. Internal Review: We have reviewed the requirements pertaining to business practices of interstate natural gas pipelines and have determined that the revisions are necessary to establish a more efficient and integrated pipeline grid. These requirements conform to the Commission’s plan for efficient information collection, communication, and management within the natural gas pipeline industries. We determined, through our internal review, that there is specific, objective support for the burden estimates associated with the information requirements. 44. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the following: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director], email: DataClearance@ferc.gov, telephone: (202) 502–8663, fax: (202) 273–0873. 45. Comments concerning the collection of information(s) and the associated burden estimate(s), should be sent to the contact listed above and to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503 [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission], telephone: (202) 395–0710; fax: (202) 395–4718. VI. Environmental Analysis 46. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.40 The actions that we take here fall within categorical exclusions in the Commission’s regulations for rules that are clarifying, corrective, or procedural, for information gathering, analysis, and dissemination, and for rules regarding sales, exchange, and transportation of natural gas that require no construction of facilities.41 Therefore, an environmental review is unnecessary and has not been prepared as part of this Final Rule. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES VII. Regulatory Flexibility Act 47. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 42 generally requires a description and analysis of final rules 40 Reguls. Implementing the Nat’l Envt’l Pol’y Act, Ord. No. 486, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. & Regs. Preambles 1986–1990 ¶ 30,783 (1987) (cross-referenced at 41 FERC ¶ 61,284). 41 See 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii), 380.4(a)(5), and 380.4(a)(27) (2020). 42 5 U.S.C. 601–612. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Aug 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Commission is not required to make such analysis if proposed regulations would not have such an effect. 48. As we stated in the WGQ Version 3.2 NOPR, approximately 178 interstate natural gas pipelines, both large and small, are potential respondents subject to the requirements adopted by this rule. Most of the natural gas pipelines regulated by the Commission do not fall within the RFA’s definition of a small entity,43 which is currently defined for natural gas pipelines as a company that, in combination with its affiliates, has total annual receipts of $30 million or less.44 For the year 2019, only 11 companies not affiliated with larger companies had annual revenues in combination with its affiliates of $30 million or less and therefore could be considered a small entity under the RFA. This represents about six percent of the total universe of potential respondents that may have a significant burden imposed on them. We estimate that the one-time implementation cost of the proposals in this Final Rule is $1,977,580 (or $11,110 per entity, regardless of entity size).45 We do not consider the estimated $11,110 impact per entity to be significant. Moreover, these requirements are designed to benefit all customers, including small businesses that must comply with them. Further, as noted above, adoption of consensus standards helps ensure the reasonableness of the standards by requiring that the standards draw support from a broad spectrum of industry participants representing all segments of the industry. Because of that representation and the fact that industry conducts business under these standards, the Commission’s regulations should reflect those standards that have the widest possible support. 49. Accordingly, pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA,46 the regulations being promulgated herein should not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 43 See 5 U.S.C. 601(3) citing section 3 of the Small Business Act (SBA), 15 U.S.C. 623. Section 3 of the SBA defines a ‘‘small business concern’’ as a business which is independently owned and operated, and which is not dominant in its field of operation (2019). 44 13 CFR 121.201 (Subsector 486—Pipeline Transportation; North American Industry Classification System code 486210; Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas) (2020). ‘‘Annual Receipts’’ are total income plus cost of goods sold. 45 This number is derived by dividing the total cost figure by the number of respondents. $1,977,580/178 = $11,110. 46 5 U.S.C. 605(b). PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 43597 VIII. Document Availability 50. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, we provide all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the internet through the Commission’s Home Page (https://www.ferc.gov/). At this time, we have suspended access to the Commission’s Public Reference Room due to the President’s March 13, 2020 proclamation declaring a National Emergency concerning COVID–19. 51. From the Commission’s Home Page on the internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field. 52. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission’s website during normal business hours from the Commission’s Online Support at (202) 502–6652 (toll free at 1–866–208–3676) or email at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502–8371, TTY (202) 502–8659. Email the Public Reference Room at public.referenceroom@ferc.gov. IX. Effective Date and Congressional Notification 53. These regulations are effective October 12, 2021. We have determined (with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB) that this rule is not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined in section 351 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This Final Rule is being submitted to the Senate, House, and Government Accountability Office. List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 284 Incorporation by reference, Natural gas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. By direction of the Commission. Issued: July 15, 2021. Debbie-Anne A. Reese, Deputy Secretary. In consideration of the foregoing, we amend part 284, chapter I, title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows: PART 284—CERTAIN SALES AND TRANSPORTATION OF NATURAL GAS UNDER THE NATURAL GAS POLICY ACT OF 1978 AND RELATED AUTHORITIES 1. The authority citation for part 284 continues to read as follows: ■ E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 43598 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 151 / Tuesday, August 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Authority: 15 U.S.C. 717–717z, 3301– 3432; 42 U.S.C. 7101–7352; 43 U.S.C. 1331– 1356. 2. Amend § 284.12 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) to read as follows: ■ § 284.12 Standards for pipeline business operations and communications. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES (a) * * * (1) An interstate pipeline that transports gas under subparts B or G of this part must comply with the business practices and electronic communications standards as promulgated by the North American Energy Standards Board, as incorporated herein by reference in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (vii) of this section. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Aug 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 (i) Additional Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020); (ii) Nominations Related Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020); (iii) Flowing Gas Related Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020); (iv) Invoicing Related Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020); (v) Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism Related Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020); (vi) Capacity Release Related Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020); and (vii) internet Electronic Transport Related Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020). (2) This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 of these standards may be obtained from the North American Energy Standards Board, 801 Travis Street, Suite 1675, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: (713) 356– 0060. NAESB’s website is at https:// www.naesb.org/. Copies may be inspected at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, Phone: (202) 502–8371, https://www.ferc.gov/, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, email fr.inspection@ nara.gov, or go to: www.archives.gov/ federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2021–16915 Filed 8–9–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 151 (Tuesday, August 10, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 43590-43598]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-16915]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

18 CFR Part 284

[Docket No. RM96-1-042; Order No. 587-Z]


Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas 
Pipelines

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is amending its 
regulations to incorporate by reference, with certain enumerated 
exceptions, the latest version (Version 3.2) of business practice 
standards adopted by the Wholesale Gas Quadrant of the North American 
Energy Standards Board (NAESB) applicable to natural gas pipelines in 
place of the currently incorporated version (Version 3.1) of those 
business practice standards. The revisions made by NAESB in this 
version of the standards are designed to enhance the natural gas 
industries' system and software security measures and to clarify the 
processing of certain business transactions.

DATES: 
    Effective date: This rule is effective October 12, 2021.
    Compliance date: Compliance filings required by this rule are due 
on November 12, 2021 and compliance with the standards incorporated in 
this rule is required on and after June 1, 2022.
    Incorporation by reference: The incorporation by reference of 
certain publications listed in this rule is approved by the Director of 
the Federal Register as of October 12, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
Stanley Wolf (technical issues), Office of Energy Policy and 
Innovation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, 
Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6841, [email protected].

Oscar F. Santillana (technical issues), Office of Energy Market 
Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, 
Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6392, [email protected].

Robert McLean (legal issues), Office of the General Counsel, Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 
20426, (202) 502-8156, [email protected].


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Order No. 587-Z

Final Rule

(Issued July 13, 2021)

[[Page 43591]]

Table of Contents

 
                                                         Paragraph Nos.
 
I. Background........................................                  5
II. Discussion.......................................                 12
    A. The NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 Business Practice                    12
     Standards.......................................
        1. Modifications to Previous Version of                       12
         Standards...................................
    B. NAESB's Process...............................                 22
    C. Adoption of Version 3.2 of the Standards......                 23
    D. Required Compliance Filings...................                 25
    E. Implementation Schedule.......................                 26
III. Notice of Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards..                 28
IV. Incorporation by Reference.......................                 29
V. Information Collection Statement..................                 39
VI. Environmental Analysis...........................                 46
VII. Regulatory Flexibility Act......................                 47
VIII. Document Availability..........................                 50
IX. Effective Date and Congressional Notification....                 53
 

    1. In this Final Rule, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
(Commission) amends its regulations at 18 CFR 284.12 to incorporate by 
reference, with certain enumerated exceptions,\1\ the latest version 
(Version 3.2) of business practice standards adopted by NAESB's WGQ 
applicable to natural gas pipelines that NAESB reported to the 
Commission on August 17, 2020 in place of the currently incorporated 
version (Version 3.1) of those business practice standards. This Final 
Rule requires interstate natural gas pipelines to file compliance 
filings with the Commission by November 12, 2021 and to comply with the 
standards incorporated by reference in this rule on and after June 1, 
2022.
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    \1\ As explained below, we are not incorporating by reference in 
this Final Rule the optional model contracts and the eTariff-related 
standards included in the North American Energy Standards Board 
(NAESB) Wholesale Gas Quadrant (WGQ) Version 3.2 package of business 
practice standards.
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    2. The implementation of these standards and regulations will 
promote the additional efficiency and reliability of the natural gas 
industries' operations thereby helping the Commission to carry out its 
responsibilities under the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Further, the 
implementation of these standards will enhance the natural gas 
industries' computer security requirements.\2\ In addition, the 
implementation of these data requirements will provide additional 
transparency to Informational Postings websites and will improve 
communication standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ As explained below, NAESB has developed and adopted, in 
conjunction with Sandia National Laboratories, a series of business 
practice standards to protect the natural gas industries' internet 
security.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. The NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 package of standards contains 
revisions to the NAESB WGQ Version 3.1 package of standards. As 
explained further below, in response to the recommendations in the 
Sandia National Laboratory (Sandia) \3\ report, NAESB updated the 
Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism (EDM) Related Standards and 
internet Electronic Transport (IET) Related Standards to specifically: 
(1) Require the implementation of fixes or patches for known 
vulnerabilities as soon as reasonably practicable in coordination with 
other trading partners; (2) specify notification timelines to provide 
notice to trading partners of any systems or software that have not 
been updated and the potential impact of using the vulnerable system; 
(3) include both specific and broad adoptions of system security 
measures and specific notification and coordination during outages with 
affected trading partners; (4) maintain a minimum encryption strength 
of 128 bits, (5) specify that OpenPGP \4\ should be used to create 
public and private keys for privacy and digital signature applications; 
(6) specify Hyper-Text Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS) \5\ whenever 
secure communication is required to protect information in transit and 
support overall privacy needs; (7) use the largest feasible key length 
consistent with implementation of current business processes; (8) state 
that secure websites should employ individual user credentials; and (9) 
encourage security assessments and coordination between customers, 
vendors, and trading partners.
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    \3\ Sandia is a multidisciplinary national laboratory and 
federally funded research and development center for the U.S. 
Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security 
Administration that supports numerous federal, state, and local 
government agencies, companies, and organizations.
    \4\ OpenPGP is an encryption standard defined by the internet 
Engineering Task Force enabling design and implementation free of 
licensing fees. At present, the encryption method is generally 
considered the most secure.
    \5\ HTTPS authentication encrypts username and password 
combinations as part of a Uniform Resource Locator address. To 
obtain an HTTPS connection, a web browser must contact a trusted, 
commercial Certificate Authority, such as a NAESB Authorized 
Certificate Authority, to obtain the web server's public key, and 
follow other applicable HTTPS procedures.
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    4. Further, in response to industry requests or through the normal 
course of WGQ activities, NAESB: (1) Updated the Nominations Related 
Standards to allow a Service Requester to determine which rights of the 
contract its segmentation nomination is using; (2) updated the Quadrant 
EDM Related Standards to (i) define a NAESB standard time frame for 
information to be retained on a pipeline's Informational Postings 
website, (ii) allow for processing functions at the line item level on 
Customer Activities websites and allow for the use of icons and/or 
graphical control elements for navigation and/or processing functions, 
and (iii) make minor revisions designed to add clarity, update the 
minimum technical characteristics to account for changes in technology 
since the previous version (Version 3.1) of the WGQ standards, and 
update the minimum and suggested operating systems and web browsers 
that entities should support; (3) updated multiple sets of standards to 
remove references to the term ``gigacalories'' and add the term 
``gigajoules'' as the standard quantity for nominations, confirmations, 
and scheduling in Mexico; and (4) revised the NAESB WGQ data sets or 
other technical implementation documentation while not resulting in 
modifications to the underlying business practice standards.

I. Background

    5. Since 1996, the Commission has adopted regulations to 
standardize the business practices and communication methodologies of 
interstate natural gas pipelines to create a more integrated and 
efficient pipeline system. These regulations have been promulgated in

[[Page 43592]]

the Order No. 587 series of orders,\6\ wherein the Commission has 
incorporated by reference standards for interstate natural gas pipeline 
business practices and electronic communications that were developed 
and adopted by NAESB's WGQ. Upon incorporation by reference, this 
version of the standards will replace the currently incorporated 
version (Version 3.1) of those business practice standards.
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    \6\ This series of orders began with the Commission's issuance 
of Standards for Bus. Pracs. of Interstate Nat. Gas Pipelines., Ord. 
No. 587, 61 FR 39053 (July 26, 1996), FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 31,038 
(1996) (cross-referenced at 76 FERC ] 61,042).
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    6. On August 17, 2020, NAESB filed a report informing the 
Commission that it had adopted and ratified WGQ Version 3.2 of its 
business practice standards applicable to interstate natural gas 
pipelines. Version 3.2 of the WGQ includes business practice standards 
developed and modified in response to industry requests and directives 
from the NAESB Board of Directors. This version also includes the 
standards developed in response to the recommendations of Sandia, which 
in 2019 issued a cybersecurity surety assessment of the NAESB standards 
sponsored by DOE (Sandia Surety Assessment),\7\ and the standards 
developed to enable the use of distributed ledger technologies when 
transacting the NAESB Base Contract for Sale and Purchase of Natural 
Gas.
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    \7\ In April 2017, NAESB announced that Sandia, through funding 
provided by DOE, would be performing a surety assessment of the 
NAESB standards. As determined by Sandia and DOE, the purpose of the 
surety assessment was to analyze cybersecurity elements within the 
standards, focusing on four areas: (1) The NAESB Certification 
Program for Accredited Certification Authorities, including the 
Wholesale Electric Quadrant (WEQ)-012 Public Key Infrastructure 
Business Practice Standards, the NAESB Accreditation Requirements 
for Authorized Certificate Authorities, and the Authorized 
Certification Authority Process; (2) the WEQ Open Access Same-Time 
Information Systems suite of standards; (3) the WGQ and Retail 
Markets Quadrant IET and Quadrant EDM Related Standards Manual; and 
(4) a high-level dependency analysis between the gas and electric 
markets to evaluate the different security paradigms the markets 
employ.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    7. The NAESB report identifies all the changes made to the WGQ 
Version 3.1 Standards and summarizes the deliberations that led to the 
changes being made. It also identifies changes to the existing 
standards that were considered but not adopted due to a lack of 
consensus or other reasons.
    8. On February 18, 2021, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking proposing to amend its regulations to incorporate by 
reference, with certain enumerated exceptions, the NAESB WGQ Version 
3.2 business practice standards (referenced above) applicable to 
natural gas pipelines.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Standards for Bus. Pracs. of Interstate Nat. Gas Pipelines, 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 86 FR 12879 (Mar. 5, 2021), 174 FERC 
] 61,103 (2021) (Version 3.2 NOPR).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    9. In response to the Version 3.2 NOPR, NAESB and the Interstate 
Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) filed comments. NAESB 
clarifies that Standards 4.3.60 and 10.3.16 do not require multi-factor 
(e.g., two-factor) authentication on an individual basis. NAESB 
clarifies that Standard 4.3.60 states that a Customer Activities 
website should be protected by [Hyper-Text Transport Protocol] (HTTP) 
\9\ Basic Authentication using transport layer security and require a 
single logon/password pair for each user session. NAESB further 
clarifies that Standard 10.3.16 states that trading partners should 
implement HTTP Basic Authentication using transport layer security.\10\ 
INGAA supports NAESB's clarifying comments.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ HTTP is the original communications protocol of the internet 
which enables a web browser to depict text, pictures, shapes, live 
data, and click targets on a web browser. However, username and 
password combinations are not encrypted in HTTP Basic 
Authentication.
    \10\ NAESB Cmts. at 1.
    \11\ INGAA Cmts. at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    10. INGAA expresses support for the Commission's proposal to 
incorporate by reference NAESB's WGQ Version 3.2 business practice 
standards. INGAA also supports the Commission's proposal in the Version 
3.2 NOPR, but urges the Commission to ensure that implementation of a 
Final Rule in this proceeding occurs for the first gas day of the 
month, but not prior to April 1, 2022, after the winter heating season. 
INGAA states that implementation of a Final Rule in this proceeding 
will require substantial time and effort from both pipelines and their 
customers to alter business systems, scheduling, and coordination 
processes and, thus, it would be best to schedule implementation to not 
occur during the winter heating season.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Id. at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    11. Further, INGAA states that requiring implementation to occur 
for the first gas day of the month is important for both pipelines and 
shippers. INGAA explains that while pipelines update their software to 
accommodate the new NAESB version ahead of the implementation date, 
both pipelines and shippers need to ensure that contract, nomination, 
allocation, invoice, and other changes will be fully in place and 
working properly with the start of the gas month. INGAA states that 
this is consistent with the industry's monthly billing cycle and shall 
avoid the complications of a mid-month transition.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Discussion

A. The NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 Business Practice Standards

1. Modifications to Previous Version of Standards
a. Modifications in Response to the Sandia Surety Assessment
    12. NAESB revised previously incorporated standards and developed 
new standards in response to the recommendations in the Sandia Surety 
Assessment. Specifically, NAESB adopted revisions to the WGQ EDM 
Related Business Practice Standards, which establish the framework for 
the electronic dissemination and communication of information between 
parties in the North American wholesale gas marketplace, and to the WGQ 
IET Related Business Practice Standards, which define the 
implementation of various technologies necessary to communicate 
transactions and other electronic data using standard protocols for 
electronic commerce over the internet between trading partners. First, 
NAESB adopted two new standards, 4.3.109 and 10.3.28, to provide that 
trading partners should evaluate software fixes or patches for known 
vulnerabilities within 30 days and implement the fix or patch as soon 
as reasonably practicable based on the severity of the risk. Second, 
NAESB adopted two new standards, 4.3.110 and 10.3.29, to provide that 
trading partners should mutually agree to the version of the EDM and 
IET to be used. Third, the new standards specify notification and 
coordination timelines with trading partners, where applicable, to 
address vulnerable systems or software as soon as possible. Fourth, the 
Sandia Surety Assessment recommended that NAESB consider guidelines for 
configuration and logging, network traffic monitoring, alerting 
systems, and manual continuity of operations in the event of abnormal 
behavior or failure conditions within the system. In response, NAESB 
added language to new Standards 4.3.110 and 10.3.28 to include both 
specific and broad adoptions of such system security measures.
    13. Further, NAESB added language to existing Standards 4.3.60, 
4.3.61, 10.2.33, and 10.3.25 to clarify the Transport Layer Security 
protocol,\14\

[[Page 43593]]

which encrypts data to hide information from electronic observers on 
the internet. NAESB also deleted all references to the Secure Sockets 
Layer protocol in the standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ The National Institute of Standards and Technology Special 
Pub. 800-52 requires government Transport Layer Security servers and 
clients to support Transport Layer Security Version 1.2 and 
recommends support for Transport Layer Security Version 1.3 by the 
year 2024.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    14. Concerning identification key lengths, the Sandia Surety 
Assessment recommended that Rivest-Shamir-Adelman keys \15\ must be no 
shorter than 2048 bits, Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm keys 
\16\ must be no shorter than 224 bits, Hash \17\ algorithms should be 
from the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA)-2 \18\ or SHA-3 families, and 
acceptable Advanced Encryption Standard key lengths range from 128, to 
192, to 256. The Sandia Surety Assessment recommended that, in general, 
implementors use the largest feasible key length consistent with 
implementation of current business processes. In response, NAESB 
deleted Standard 4.3.83 to remove legacy support references and 
maintain a minimum encryption strength of 128 bits. Further, NAESB 
revised existing Standards 10.2.34 and 10.3.15 to delete a proprietary 
Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) \19\-related hyperlink and to accommodate 
license-free OpenPGP, respectively. NAESB also adopted a new Standard 
10.2.39 to specify that OpenPGP should be used to create public and 
private keys for privacy and digital signature applications.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Rivest-Shamir-Adelman is a public key infrastructure 
algorithm composed of a public component and a private component 
that is typically installed on a recognized Certificate Authority.
    \16\ Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm public keys 
generate an encrypted signature to validate data.
    \17\ A Hash is a cryptology technique used for digital 
signatures in which a series of numbers that may represent, for 
example, a password, an image, a document, or an executable file is 
used to generate a cryptographic hash (i.e., a large number).
    \18\ SHA-2 is a set of cryptographic hash functions.
    \19\ PGP is a proprietary (i.e., an organization must pay to use 
it) encryption program developed to enhance the confidentiality and 
integrity of data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    15. Further, NAESB revised existing Standards 4.3.60, 4.3.84, 
10.3.4, and 10.3.16 to specify HTTPS, which is an encrypted version of 
HTTP, whenever a secure communication is required to protect 
information in transit and support overall privacy needs.
b. Modifications in Response to Industry Requests
    16. The following section describes standards development efforts 
undertaken by NAESB in response to industry requests or through the 
normal course of WGQ activities that resulted in modifications to the 
Nomination Related Standards, Quadrant EDM Related Standards, and an 
effort that impacted multiple sets of standards. NAESB made 
corresponding revisions, where appropriate, to the related data sets 
and technical implementation as part of the standards development 
effort.
i. Nomination Related Standards
    17. NAESB revised existing Standards 1.3.27, 1.4.1, and 1.4.2 to 
add a new data element ``Capacity Block ID'' to allow a Service 
Requester to determine which primary point rights of the contract their 
segmented nomination \20\ is using and eliminate an existing manual 
business process from the TSP to automate the business process.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ In order for a Service Requester to have control over its 
segmented nomination(s), the Transportation Service Provider (TSP) 
will require a ``Capacity Block ID'' to be submitted with each 
nomination line item specifying a Transaction Type of ``Segmented.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism Related Standards
    18. NAESB developed two new standards, Standard 4.3.107 to 
establish a standard data retention period for retrieval of 
Operationally Available data from the Informational Postings website, 
and Standard 4.3.108, to establish a standard data retention period for 
retrieval of Notices for the subcategories of Critical, Non-Critical, 
and Planned Service Outage from the Informational Postings website.
iii. Revisions Impacting Multiple Standards
    19. NAESB revised multiple standards \21\ and data sets \22\ to 
remove references to the term ``gigacalories'' and add the term 
``gigajoules,'' as the standard quantity for nominations, 
confirmations, and scheduling in Mexico.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 Standards 1.3.14, 1.3.15, 1.3.82, and 
3.3.3.
    \22\ NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 Standards 0.4.1 through 0.4.3, 1.4.1, 
1.4.3 through 1.4.6, 2.4.1, 2.4.6, 2.4.17, 3.4.1, 3.4.2, and 5.4.24 
through 5.4.26.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

iv. Other Material in NAESB's Report
    20. NAESB revised multiple data sets which impacted technical 
implementation documentation only.
    21. Further, NAESB revised its optional model contracts and 
corresponding Mexican and Canadian Addendums to reflect a standard 
digital representation of natural gas trade events. NAESB states that 
these revisions are intended to capitalize on smart contracts and 
distributed ledger technologies.

B. NAESB's Process

    22. NAESB used its consensus procedures to develop and approve the 
WGQ Version 3.2 Standards. As the Commission found in Order No. 587, 
the adoption of consensus standards is appropriate, because the 
consensus process helps ensure the reasonableness of the standards by 
requiring that the standards draw support from a broad spectrum of 
industry participants representing all segments of the industry. 
Moreover, since the industry itself must conduct business under these 
standards, the Commission's regulations should reflect those standards 
that have the widest possible support. In section 12(d) of the National 
Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTT&AA),\23\ Congress 
affirmatively requires federal agencies to use technical standards 
developed by voluntary consensus standards organizations, like NAESB, 
as means to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the 
agencies unless an agency determines that the use of such standards 
would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Public Law 104-113, 12(d), 110 Stat. 775 (1996).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Adoption of Version 3.2 of the Standards

    23. In the Version 3.2 NOPR, the Commission proposed to incorporate 
by reference, in its regulations, Version 3.2 of the NAESB WGQ 
consensus business practice standards, with the exception of NAESB's 
standards specifying the terms of optional model contracts and the 
eTariff-related standards.\24\ None of the commenters opposed the 
Commission's proposal to incorporate by reference the NAESB WGQ Version 
3.2 business practice standards as proposed in the Version 3.2 
NOPR.\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ Version 3.2 NOPR, 174 FERC ] 61,103 at n.1 & P 19.
    \25\ NAESB's clarifying comments regarding revised existing 
Standards 4.3.60 and 10.3.16 are discussed separately in section II 
above.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    24. After a review of the comments filed in response to the Version 
3.2 NOPR, and because the revisions made by NAESB in this version of 
the standards are designed to enhance the natural gas industries' 
system and software security measures and to clarify the processing of 
certain business transactions, we amend Part 284 of the Commission's 
regulations to incorporate by reference the NAESB WGQ Version 3.2 
business practice standards, with the exceptions (as explained in the 
Version 3.2 NOPR) of the optional model contracts and the eTariff-
related standards.

[[Page 43594]]

D. Required Compliance Filings

    25. As suggested by INGAA, we have selected an implementation 
schedule for compliance with this Final Rule that delays implementation 
until after the 2021-2022 winter heating period. To implement the 
standards that we are incorporating by reference in this Final Rule, we 
will require each interstate natural gas pipeline to file a separate 
tariff record reflecting the changed standards by November 12, 2021, to 
take effect on June 1, 2022 \26\ We are adopting this implementation 
schedule to give the interstate natural gas pipelines subject to these 
standards adequate time to implement these changes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ To aid in compliance, promptly after issuance of this Final 
Rule, we will post a sample tariff record on the Commission's 
website that may be accessed at https://www.ferc.gov/ferc-online/elibrary. All interstate natural gas pipelines are to file their 
tariff records in conformance with this sample tariff record.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

E. Implementation Schedule

    26. To implement these standards, we require interstate natural gas 
pipelines to file tariff records to reflect the changed standards by 
November 12, 2021. None of the comments took issue with the 
Commission's explanation of its policies on tariff filings and on 
waiver requests to comply with these standards.\27\ Therefore, we are 
not modifying these policies in this Final Rule and affirm the 
explanation of those policies the Commission made in the Version 3.2 
NOPR.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Version 3.2 NOPR, 174 FERC ] 61,103 at PP 20-24.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    27. In addition, consistent with the requirements in Order No. 587-
W,\28\ we are including the following filing requirements for the 
November 12, 2021 compliance filing to increase the transparency of the 
pipelines' incorporation by reference of the NAESB WGQ Standards so 
that shippers and the Commission will know which tariff provision(s) 
implements each standard as well as the status of each standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ Standards for Bus. Pracs. of Interstate Nat. Gas Pipelines, 
Ord. No. 587-W, 80 FR 67302 (Nov. 2, 2015), 153 FERC ] 61,061, at P 
42 (2015) (Ord. No. 587-W).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) The pipelines must designate a single tariff record under which 
every NAESB standard currently incorporated by reference by the 
Commission is listed.\29\ This section should be a separate tariff 
record under the Commission's electronic tariff filing requirement and 
should be filed electronically using the eTariff portal using the Type 
of Filing Code 580. We will post on the Commission's eLibrary website 
(under Docket No. RM96-1-042) a sample tariff record, to provide filers 
an illustrative example to aid them in preparing their compliance 
filings; \30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ See supra n.21.
    \30\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) For each standard, each pipeline must specify in the tariff 
record a list of all the NAESB standards currently incorporated by 
reference by the Commission:
    (a) whether the standard is incorporated by reference;
    (b) for those standards not incorporated by reference, the tariff 
provision that complies with the standard; \31\ and
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ For example, pipelines are required to include the full 
text of the NAESB nomination and capacity release timeline standards 
(WGQ Standards 1.3.2(i-vi) and 5.3.2, respectively) in their 
tariffs. See, e.g., Standards for Bus. Pracs. of Interstate Nat. Gas 
Pipelines, Ord. No. 587-U, 75 FR 16337 (Apr. 1, 2010), 130 FERC ] 
61,212, at P 39 & n.42 (2010). Each pipeline's submittal is to 
identify which tariff provision complies with each of these 
standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (c) a statement identifying any standards for which the pipeline 
has been granted a waiver, extension of time, or other variance with 
respect to compliance with the standard.\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ Shippers can use the Commission's electronic tariff system 
to locate the tariff record containing the NAESB WGQ standards, 
which will indicate the docket number in which any waiver or 
extension of time was granted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (3) If the pipeline is requesting a continuation of a previously 
granted waiver or extension of time to comply with certain NAESB WGQ 
standards, it must include a table in its transmittal letter that 
states the standard for which a waiver or extension of time was 
granted, and the docket number or order citation to the proceeding in 
which the waiver or extension of time was granted.

III. Notice of Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards

    28. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119 (section 
11) (Feb. 10, 1998) provides that when a federal agency issues or 
revises a regulation containing a standard, the agency should publish a 
statement in the Final Rule stating whether the adopted standard is a 
voluntary consensus standard or a government-unique standard. In this 
Final Rule, we are incorporating by reference voluntary consensus 
standards developed by NAESB's WGQ. In section 12(d) of NTT&AA, 
Congress affirmatively requires federal agencies to use technical 
standards developed by voluntary consensus standards organizations to 
carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies 
unless use of such standards would be inconsistent with applicable law 
or otherwise impractical.\33\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ Public Law 104-113, 12(d), 110 Stat. 775 (1996), 15 U.S.C. 
272 note (1997).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. Incorporation by Reference

    29. The Office of the Federal Register requires agencies 
incorporating material by reference in final rules to discuss the ways 
that the materials it incorporates by reference are reasonably 
available to interested parties and how interested parties can obtain 
the materials.\34\ The regulations also require agencies to summarize, 
in the preamble of the final rule, the material it incorporates by 
reference. The standards that we are incorporating by reference in this 
Final Rule consist of seven suites of NAESB WGQ Business Practice 
Standards that address a variety of topics and are designed to 
streamline the transactional processes for the wholesale natural gas 
industry by promoting a more competitive and efficient market. These 
include the: Additional Business Practice Standards; Nominations 
Related Business Practice Standards; Flowing Gas Related Business 
Practice Standards; Invoicing Related Business Practice Standards; 
Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism Related Business Practice 
Standards; Capacity Release Related Business Practice Standards; and 
internet Electronic Transport Related Business Practice Standards. We 
summarize these standards below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ 1 CFR 51.5 (2020). See Incorporation by Reference, 79 FR 
66267 (Nov. 7, 2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    30. The Additional Business Practice Standards address six areas: 
Creditworthiness; Storage Information; Gas/Electric Operational 
Communications; Operational Capacity; Unsubscribed Capacity; and 
Location Data Download.
     The Creditworthiness related standards describe 
requirements for the exchange of information, notification, and 
communication between parties during the creditworthiness evaluation 
process.
     The Storage Information related standards define the 
information to be provided to natural gas service requesters related to 
storage activities and/or balances.
     The Gas/Electric Operational Communications related 
standards define communication protocols intended to improve 
coordination between the gas and electric industries in daily 
operational communications between transportation service providers and 
gas-fired power plants. The standards include requirements for 
communicating anticipated power generation fuel for the upcoming day as

[[Page 43595]]

well as any operating problems that might hinder gas-fired power plants 
from receiving contractual gas quantities.
     The Operational Capacity related standards define 
requirements of the transportation service provider related to the 
reporting and requesting of a transportation service provider's 
operational capacity, total scheduled quantity, and operationally 
available capacity.
     The Unsubscribed Capacity related standards define 
requirements of the transportation service provider related to the 
reporting and requesting of a transportation service provider's 
available unsubscribed capacity.
     The Location Data Download related standards define 
requirements for the use of codes assigned by the transportation 
service provider for locations and common codes for parties 
communicating electronically.
    31. The Nominations Related Business Practice Standards define the 
process by which a natural gas service requester with a natural gas 
transportation contract nominates (or requests) service from a pipeline 
or a transportation service provider for the delivery of natural gas.
    32. The Flowing Gas Related Business Practice Standards define the 
business processes related to the communication of entitlement rights 
of flowing gas at a location, of the entitlement rights on a 
contractual basis, of the management of imbalances, and of the 
measurement and gas quality information of the actual flow of gas.
    33. The Invoicing Related Business Practice Standards define the 
process for the communication of charges for services rendered 
(Invoice), communication of details about funds rendered in payment for 
services rendered (Payment Remittance), and communication of the 
financial status of a customer's account (Statement of Account).
    34. The Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism Related Business 
Practice Standards define the framework for the electronic 
dissemination and communication of information between parties in the 
North American wholesale gas marketplace for Electronic Data 
Interchange/EDM transfers, batch flat file/EDM transfers, informational 
postings websites, Electronic Bulletin Boards/EDM, and interactive flat 
file/EDM.
    35. The Capacity Release Related Business Practice Standards define 
the business processes for communication of information related to the 
selling of all or any portion of a transmission service requester's 
contract rights.
    36. The internet Electronic Transport Related Business Practice 
Standards define the implementation of various technologies necessary 
to communicate transactions and other electronic data using standard 
protocols for electronic commerce over the internet between trading 
partners.
    37. The Commission's regulations provide that copies of the 
standards incorporated by reference may be obtained from NAESB at 
https://www.naesb.org// or (713) 356-0060. Once the Novel Coronavirus 
Disease (COVID-19) restrictions are lifted, copies of the standards may 
be inspected at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public 
Reference Room, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, Phone: (202) 
502-8371, https://www.ferc.gov/. At this time, the Commission has 
suspended access to the Commission's Public Reference Room due to the 
President's March 13, 2020 proclamation declaring a National Emergency 
concerning COVID-19.
    38. NAESB is a private consensus standards developer that develops 
voluntary wholesale and retail standards related to the energy 
industry. The procedures used by NAESB make its standards reasonably 
available to those affected by Commission regulations, which generally 
is comprised of entities that have the means to acquire the information 
they need to effectively participate in Commission proceedings. 
Participants can join NAESB, for an annual membership cost of $8,000, 
which entitles them to full participation in NAESB and enables them to 
obtain these standards at no additional cost. Non-members may obtain 
the Individual Standards Manual or Booklets for each of the seven 
Manuals by email for $250 per manual, which in the case of these 
standards would total $1,750. Non-members also may obtain the complete 
set of Standards Manuals, Booklets, and Contracts on USB flash drive 
for $2,000. NAESB also provides a free electronic read-only version of 
the standards for a three-business day period or, in the case of a 
regulatory comment period, through the end of the comment period. In 
addition, NAESB considers requests for waivers of the charges on a 
case-by-case basis depending on need.

V. Information Collection Statement

    39. OMB regulations require that OMB approve certain reporting, 
record keeping, and public disclosure requirements (information 
collection) imposed by an agency.\35\ Therefore, we are submitting this 
proposed information collection to OMB for review in accordance with 
section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Upon approval 
of a collection of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number 
and an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements 
of a rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these 
collections of information unless the collection of information 
displays a valid OMB control number.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ 5 CFR 1320.11 (2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    40. The Commission solicited comments on the need for this 
information, whether the information will have practical utility, the 
accuracy of the provided burden estimates, ways to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and any 
suggested methods for minimizing respondents' burden, including the use 
of automated information techniques. No comments were filed raising any 
objections to the burden estimate presented in the Version 3.2 NOPR. 
Accordingly, we will use that same burden estimate in this Final Rule.
    41. Public Reporting Burden: The burden estimates for this Final 
Rule are for one-time implementation of the information collection 
requirements of this Final Rule (including tariff filing, documentation 
of the process and procedures, and information technology work).
    42. The collections of information related to this Final Rule fall 
under FERC-545 (Gas Pipeline Rates: Rate Change (Non-Formal)) \36\ and 
FERC-549C (Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas 
Pipelines).\37\ The following estimates of reporting burden are related 
only to this Final Rule and include the costs to pipelines for 
compliance with the Commission's directives in this Final Rule. The 
burden estimates are primarily related to implementing these standards 
and regulations and will not result in ongoing costs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ FERC-545 covers rate change filings made by natural gas 
pipelines, including tariff changes.
    \37\ FERC-549C covers Standards for Business Practices of 
Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines.

[[Page 43596]]



                               RM96-1-042 Final Rule (Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Number of    Annual  number
                                      respondents    of  responses   Total number     Average burden hr. per   Total annual burden hours   Annual costs
                                         \38\       per respondent   of responses            response           & total annual cost \39\  per respondent
                                               (1)             (2)   (1)*(2) = (3)  (4)......................  (3)*(4) = (5)............   (5)/(1) = (6)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FERC-545 (one-time)...............             178               1             178  10 hrs.; $1,010..........  1,780 hrs.; $179,780.....          $1,010
FERC-549C (one-time)..............             178               1             178  100 hrs.; $10,100........  17,800 hrs.; $1,797,800..         $10,100
                                   ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total.............................  ..............  ..............             356  .........................  19,580 hrs.; $1,977,580..  ..............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The one-time burden (for both the FERC-545 and FERC-549C) will take 
place in Year 1 and will be averaged over three years:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38 \ The number of respondents is the number of entities in 
which a change in burden from the current standards to the proposed 
exists, not the total number of entities from the current or 
proposed standards that are applicable.
    \39\ The estimated hourly cost (salary plus benefits) provided 
in this section is based on the salary figures for May 2019 posted 
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Utilities sector 
(available at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics3_221000.htm) and 
scaled to reflect benefits using the relative importance of employer 
costs for employee compensation from June 2020 (available at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm). The hourly estimates for 
salary plus benefits are:
    Computer and Information Systems Manager (Occupation Code: 11-
3021), $101.58
    Computer and Information Analysts (Occupation Code: 15-1210), 
$87.42
    Electrical Engineer (Occupation Code: 17-2071), $70.19
    Legal (Occupation Code: 23-0000), $142.65
    The average hourly cost (salary plus benefits), weighting all of 
these skill sets evenly, is $100.50. We round it to $101/hour.

FERC-545: 1,780 hours / 3 = 593 hours/year over three years
FERC-549C: 17,800 hours / 3 = 5,933 hours/year over three years

    The number of responses is also averaged over three years (for both 
the FERC-545 and FERC-549C):

FERC-545: 178 responses / 3 = 59 responses/year
FERC-549C: 178 responses / 3 = 59 responses/year

    The responses and burden for Years 1-3 will total respectively as 
follows:

Year 1: 59 responses; 593 hours (FERC-545); 5,933 hours (FERC-549C)
Year 2: 59 responses; 593 hours (FERC-545); 5,933 hours (FERC-549C)
Year 3: 59 responses; 593 hours (FERC-545); 5,933 hours (FERC-549C)

    Title: FERC-545, Gas Pipeline Rates: Rates Change (Non-Formal); 
FERC-549C, Standards for Business Practices of Interstate Natural Gas 
Pipelines.
    Action: Proposed information collections.
    OMB Control Nos.: 1902-0154 (FERC-545), 1902-0174 (FERC-549C).
    Respondents: Business or other for profit (e.g., Natural Gas 
Pipelines, applicable to only a few small businesses).
    Frequency of Responses: One-time implementation (related to 
business procedures, capital/start-up).
    Necessity of Information: In response to the recommendations in the 
Sandia report, the revisions in this Final Rule to the Commission's 
regulations will upgrade current business practices and communication 
standards by updating the Quadrant EDM Related Standards and IET 
Related Standards to specifically: (1) Require the implementation of 
fixes or patches for known vulnerabilities as soon as reasonably 
practicable in coordination with other trading partners; (2) specify 
notification timelines to provide notice to trading partners of any 
systems or software that have not been updated and the potential impact 
of using the vulnerable system; (3) include both specific and broad 
adoptions of system security measures and specific notification and 
coordination during outages with affected trading partners; (4) 
maintain a minimum encryption strength of 128 bits; (5) specify that 
OpenPGP should be used to create public and private keys for privacy 
and digital signature applications; (6) specify HTTPS whenever secure 
communication is required to protect information in transit and support 
overall privacy needs; (7) use the largest feasible key length 
consistent with implementation of current business processes; (8) state 
that secure websites should employ individual user credentials; and (9) 
encourage security assessments and coordination between customers, 
vendors, and trading partners.
    43. Further, in response to industry requests or through the normal 
course of WGQ activities, the revisions in this Final Rule to the 
Commission's regulations will upgrade current business practices and 
communication standards by specifically: (1) Updating the Nominations 
Related Standards to allow a Service Requester to determine which 
rights of the contract its segmentation nomination is using; (2) 
updating the Quadrant EDM Related Standards to (i) define a NAESB 
standard time frame for information to be retained on a pipeline's 
Informational Postings website, (ii) allow for processing functions at 
the line item level on Customer Activities websites and allow for the 
use of icons and/or graphical control elements for navigation and/or 
processing functions, and (iii) make minor revisions designed to add 
clarity, update the minimum technical characteristics to account for 
changes in technology since the previous version (Version 3.1) of the 
WGQ standards, and update the minimum and suggested operating systems 
and web browsers that entities should support; (3) updating multiple 
sets of standards to remove references to the term ``gigacalories'' and 
add the term ``gigajoules'' as the standard quantity for nominations, 
confirmations, and scheduling in Mexico; and (4) revising the NAESB WGQ 
data sets or other technical implementation documentation while not 
resulting in modifications to the underlying business practice 
standards. The package of standards also includes minor corrections. 
The implementation of these data requirements will provide additional 
transparency to Informational Postings websites and will improve 
communication standards. The implementation of these standards and 
regulations will promote the additional efficiency and reliability of 
the natural gas industries' operations thereby helping the Commission 
to carry out its responsibilities under the NGA. In addition, the 
Commission's Office of

[[Page 43597]]

Enforcement will use the data for general industry oversight.
    Internal Review: We have reviewed the requirements pertaining to 
business practices of interstate natural gas pipelines and have 
determined that the revisions are necessary to establish a more 
efficient and integrated pipeline grid. These requirements conform to 
the Commission's plan for efficient information collection, 
communication, and management within the natural gas pipeline 
industries. We determined, through our internal review, that there is 
specific, objective support for the burden estimates associated with 
the information requirements.
    44. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting 
requirements by contacting the following: Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen 
Brown, Office of the Executive Director], email: 
[email protected], telephone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873.
    45. Comments concerning the collection of information(s) and the 
associated burden estimate(s), should be sent to the contact listed 
above and to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information 
and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503 [Attention: Desk Officer 
for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission], telephone: (202) 395-
0710; fax: (202) 395-4718.

VI. Environmental Analysis

    46. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental 
Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may 
have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.\40\ The 
actions that we take here fall within categorical exclusions in the 
Commission's regulations for rules that are clarifying, corrective, or 
procedural, for information gathering, analysis, and dissemination, and 
for rules regarding sales, exchange, and transportation of natural gas 
that require no construction of facilities.\41\ Therefore, an 
environmental review is unnecessary and has not been prepared as part 
of this Final Rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ Reguls. Implementing the Nat'l Envt'l Pol'y Act, Ord. No. 
486, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. & Regs. Preambles 
1986-1990 ] 30,783 (1987) (cross-referenced at 41 FERC ] 61,284).
    \41\ See 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii), 380.4(a)(5), and 380.4(a)(27) 
(2020).
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VII. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    47. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) \42\ generally 
requires a description and analysis of final rules that will have 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The Commission is not required to make such analysis if proposed 
regulations would not have such an effect.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ 5 U.S.C. 601-612.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    48. As we stated in the WGQ Version 3.2 NOPR, approximately 178 
interstate natural gas pipelines, both large and small, are potential 
respondents subject to the requirements adopted by this rule. Most of 
the natural gas pipelines regulated by the Commission do not fall 
within the RFA's definition of a small entity,\43\ which is currently 
defined for natural gas pipelines as a company that, in combination 
with its affiliates, has total annual receipts of $30 million or 
less.\44\ For the year 2019, only 11 companies not affiliated with 
larger companies had annual revenues in combination with its affiliates 
of $30 million or less and therefore could be considered a small entity 
under the RFA. This represents about six percent of the total universe 
of potential respondents that may have a significant burden imposed on 
them. We estimate that the one-time implementation cost of the 
proposals in this Final Rule is $1,977,580 (or $11,110 per entity, 
regardless of entity size).\45\ We do not consider the estimated 
$11,110 impact per entity to be significant. Moreover, these 
requirements are designed to benefit all customers, including small 
businesses that must comply with them. Further, as noted above, 
adoption of consensus standards helps ensure the reasonableness of the 
standards by requiring that the standards draw support from a broad 
spectrum of industry participants representing all segments of the 
industry. Because of that representation and the fact that industry 
conducts business under these standards, the Commission's regulations 
should reflect those standards that have the widest possible support.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ See 5 U.S.C. 601(3) citing section 3 of the Small Business 
Act (SBA), 15 U.S.C. 623. Section 3 of the SBA defines a ``small 
business concern'' as a business which is independently owned and 
operated, and which is not dominant in its field of operation 
(2019).
    \44\ 13 CFR 121.201 (Subsector 486--Pipeline Transportation; 
North American Industry Classification System code 486210; Pipeline 
Transportation of Natural Gas) (2020). ``Annual Receipts'' are total 
income plus cost of goods sold.
    \45\ This number is derived by dividing the total cost figure by 
the number of respondents. $1,977,580/178 = $11,110.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    49. Accordingly, pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA,\46\ the 
regulations being promulgated herein should not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
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    \46\ 5 U.S.C. 605(b).
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VIII. Document Availability

    50. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the 
Federal Register, we provide all interested persons an opportunity to 
view and/or print the contents of this document via the internet 
through the Commission's Home Page (https://www.ferc.gov/). At this 
time, we have suspended access to the Commission's Public Reference 
Room due to the President's March 13, 2020 proclamation declaring a 
National Emergency concerning COVID-19.
    51. From the Commission's Home Page on the internet, this 
information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is 
available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, 
printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type 
the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in 
the docket number field.
    52. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's 
website during normal business hours from the Commission's Online 
Support at (202) 502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at 
[email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-
8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at 
[email protected].

IX. Effective Date and Congressional Notification

    53. These regulations are effective October 12, 2021. We have 
determined (with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB) that this rule is not a 
``major rule'' as defined in section 351 of the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This Final Rule is being 
submitted to the Senate, House, and Government Accountability Office.

List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 284

    Incorporation by reference, Natural gas, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: July 15, 2021.
Debbie-Anne A. Reese,
Deputy Secretary.

    In consideration of the foregoing, we amend part 284, chapter I, 
title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 284--CERTAIN SALES AND TRANSPORTATION OF NATURAL GAS UNDER THE 
NATURAL GAS POLICY ACT OF 1978 AND RELATED AUTHORITIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 284 continues to read as follows:


[[Page 43598]]


    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 717-717z, 3301-3432; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352; 
43 U.S.C. 1331-1356.


0
2. Amend Sec.  284.12 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  284.12  Standards for pipeline business operations and 
communications.

    (a) * * *
    (1) An interstate pipeline that transports gas under subparts B or 
G of this part must comply with the business practices and electronic 
communications standards as promulgated by the North American Energy 
Standards Board, as incorporated herein by reference in paragraphs 
(a)(1)(i) through (vii) of this section.
    (i) Additional Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020);
    (ii) Nominations Related Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020);
    (iii) Flowing Gas Related Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020);
    (iv) Invoicing Related Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 2020);
    (v) Quadrant Electronic Delivery Mechanism Related Standards 
(Version 3.2, August 15, 2020);
    (vi) Capacity Release Related Standards (Version 3.2, August 15, 
2020); and
    (vii) internet Electronic Transport Related Standards (Version 3.2, 
August 15, 2020).
    (2) This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of 
the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 
51. Copies of these standards may be obtained from the North American 
Energy Standards Board, 801 Travis Street, Suite 1675, Houston, TX 
77002, Phone: (713) 356-0060. NAESB's website is at https://www.naesb.org/. Copies may be inspected at the Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE, 
Washington, DC 20426, Phone: (202) 502-8371, https://www.ferc.gov/, or 
at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For 
information on the availability of this material at NARA, email 
[email protected], or go to: www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.
* * * * *

[FR Doc. 2021-16915 Filed 8-9-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P