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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 25, 2015.
Natural Gas Gathering Enhancement Act
Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to grant a right of way for natural gas pipelines through a unit of the National Park System for a maximum term of 30 years, and a maximum width of 50 feet.
Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to permit the use of rights of way for natural gas pipelines through public lands, forest, and other reservations of the United States, and specified national parks in California.
Defines "gas gathering line and associated field compression unit" as: (1) a pipeline installed to transport natural gas production associated with one or more wells drilled and completed to produce oil or gas; and (2) if necessary, a compressor to raise the pressure of that transported natural gas to higher pressures suitable to enable the gas to flow into pipelines and other facilities.
Excludes from such definition any pipeline or compression unit installed to transport natural gas from a processing plant to a common carrier pipeline or facility.
Excludes from federal lands, for purposes of gas gathering line and associated field compression units, any unit of the National Park System, any unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System, or Indian land.
Deems the issuance of a sundry notice or right-of-way for a gas gathering line and associated field compression unit located on federal or Indian land and servicing an oil well to be an action categorically excluded for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), if the line and the compression unit are: (1) within a field or unit for which an approved land use plan or an environmental document prepared pursuant to NEPA analyzed transportation of natural gas produced from one or more oil wells in that field or unit as a reasonably foreseeable activity, and (2) located adjacent to or within an existing disturbed area or an existing corridor for a right-of-way.
(A "categorical exclusion" is a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and which have been found to have no such effect in procedures adopted by a federal agency in implementing environmental regulations and for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.) Applies this categorical exclusion to Indian land if the Indian tribe with jurisdiction over the land requests in writing that the exclusion apply.
Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to direct the Secretary to study permissible actions or proposed changes to federal law which would expedite permitting for gas gathering lines and associated field compression units located on federal land or Indian land to transport natural gas associated with oil and gas production on any land, to a processing plant or a common carrier pipeline for delivery to markets.
Amends the Mineral Leasing Act to direct the appropriate agency head to issue a sundry notice or right-of-way for a gas gathering line and associated field compression unit located on federal land within 90 days after receiving the request for a line and compression unit described in this Act, unless the Secretary or agency head finds that the sundry notice or right-of-way would violate either the National Historic Preservation Act or the Endangered Species Act of 1973.