On July 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a staff notice of alleged violations (“Notice”) stating that its Office of Enforcement has preliminarily determined, in a nonpublic investigation, that Columbia Gas Transmission LLC (“Columbia Gas”) violated its FERC Gas Tariff “by failing to post the notices of the auctions of its available firm capacity on the public side of its Electronic Bulletin Board (EBB), Navigates, between January 1, 2010 and May 1, 2013.” Specifically, “[b]eginning in 1993, Columbia Gas offered available firm capacity through notices of auctions posted on the public side of its EBB, Navigator,” as required by its tariff. Then, in 2008, “Columbia Gas replaced Navigator with a new software program, Navigates, which required a login ID to access its password-protected side. In 2009, the notices of the auctions were removed from the public side of Navigates and placed on its password-protected side.”
The Notice states that, while Columbia Gas “restored the notices of the auctions to the public side of Navigates on May 1, 2013,” its “failure to post the notices . . . on its public website for a period of four years posed a serious threat to transparency in the market, and may have compromised [FERC’s] open-access transportation requirements.” The Notice does not provide any additional details regarding the investigation, allegations or potential penalties.