In this section, the term "Federal authorization"—
(1) means any authorization required under Federal law with respect to an application for authorization under section 717b of this title or a certificate of public convenience and necessity under section 717f of this title; and
(2) includes any permits, special use authorizations, certifications, opinions, or other approvals as may be required under Federal law with respect to an application for authorization under section 717b of this title or a certificate of public convenience and necessity under section 717f of this title.
(b) Designation as lead agency
(1) In general
The Commission shall act as the lead agency for the purposes of coordinating all applicable Federal authorizations and for the purposes of complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
(2) Other agencies
Each Federal and State agency considering an aspect of an application for Federal authorization shall cooperate with the Commission and comply with the deadlines established by the Commission.
(1) Commission authority to set schedule
The Commission shall establish a schedule for all Federal authorizations. In establishing the schedule, the Commission shall—
(A) ensure expeditious completion of all such proceedings; and
(B) comply with applicable schedules established by Federal law.
(2) Failure to meet schedule
If a Federal or State administrative agency does not complete a proceeding for an approval that is required for a Federal authorization in accordance with the schedule established by the Commission, the applicant may pursue remedies under section 717r(d) of this title.
(d) Consolidated record
The Commission shall, with the cooperation of Federal and State administrative agencies and officials, maintain a complete consolidated record of all decisions made or actions taken by the Commission or by a Federal administrative agency or officer (or State administrative agency or officer acting under delegated Federal authority) with respect to any Federal authorization. Such record shall be the record for—
(1) appeals or reviews under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.), provided that the record may be supplemented as expressly provided pursuant to section 319 of that Act [16 U.S.C. 1465]; or
(2) judicial review under section 717r(d) of this title of decisions made or actions taken of Federal and State administrative agencies and officials, provided that, if the Court determines that the record does not contain sufficient information, the Court may remand the proceeding to the Commission for further development of the consolidated record.
(e) Hearings; parties
Hearings under this chapter may be held before the Commission, any member or members thereof, or any representative of the Commission designated by it, and appropriate records thereof shall be kept. In any proceeding before it, the Commission in accordance with such rules and regulations as it may prescribe, may admit as a party any interested State, State commission, municipality or any representative of interested consumers or security holders, or any competitor of a party to such proceeding, or any other person whose participation in the proceeding may be in the public interest.
All hearings, investigations, and proceedings under this chapter shall be governed by rules of practice and procedure to be adopted by the Commission, and in the conduct thereof the technical rules of evidence need not be applied. No informality in any hearing, investigation, or proceeding or in the manner of taking testimony shall invalidate any order, decision, rule, or regulation issued under the authority of this chapter.
References in Text
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), is Pub. L. 91–190, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 55 (§4321 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4321 of Title 42 and Tables.
The Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, referred to in subsec. (d)(1), is title III of Pub. L. 89–454, as added by Pub. L. 92–583, Oct. 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1280, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 33 (§1451 et seq.) of Title 16, Conservation. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1451 of Title 16 and Tables.
2005—Pub. L. 109–58 substituted "Process coordination; hearings; rules of procedure" for "Hearings; rules of procedure" in section catchline, added subsecs. (a) to (d), and redesignated former subsecs. (a) and (b) as (e) and (f), respectively.