Improving Oil and Gas Pipeline Permitting 

In recent years, the growth of the natural gas industry has expanded pipeline development into new states and increased the number of permits necessitating review by states and tribes. Pipeline development and maintenance activities often result in both short- and long-term impacts to aquatic resources including wetlands, which can be either temporary or permanent. States and tribes are tasked with working with pipeline project applicants to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources and, where impacts are unavoidable, to reduce long-term damage through mitigation.

To address the growing need for states and tribes to build their permitting capacity, NAWM has developed resources to help staff:

For more information about NAWM’s project, view NAWM’s Pipeline Permitting Project Factsheet and Project Summary Report 

Understand and overcome common barriers to pipeline permitting

  • Understand common challenges to effective and efficient pipeline permitting at the state level by reviewing the following list of barriers and challenges and matrix of challenges and strategies to overcome these challenges to gather more information to support your capacity-building work.
  • Participate in the pre-application phase of pipeline project planning as early and often as possible. Engagement during the planning phase of FERC pipeline development process is not required by many states/tribes, but can be invaluable in guiding decision making, encouraging use of best practices and avoiding delays in §401 certification. This effort often requires relationship building and initiative on the part of the state/tribe to request inclusion.
  • Explore potential strategies to build state/tribal pipeline permitting capacity by sharing NAWM's Capacity Building Strategies Document.


Formalize and reach agreement about §401 certification processes at the state and tribal level

Learn how to identify, adapt and adopt state/tribal best management practices for different elements of the oil and gas pipeline permitting process.

Start thinking about how to better include discussion and incorporation of cumulative impacts into project planning and permit review activities.

Improve communications between your state/tribe and applicants

Encourage ongoing and current training for state and tribal permitting staff; share pipeline permitting resources

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Improving State and Tribal Permitting of Pipeline Projects in the United States

Resources for Oil and Gas Companies and Consultants

Useful External Resources for Oil and Gas Pipeline Permitting