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Alternative Dispute Resolution
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Effective January 2015 the main contact for the Landowner Helpline is Marcia Lurensky.  The Landowner Helpline may be reached toll-free at 1-877-337-2237 or via email at LandownerHelp@ferc.gov.
 

Overview
When parties are involved in a conflict, they may initially attempt to resolve the matter themselves. If they are unable to do so, the traditional dispute resolution process is to engage in litigation. Thus, they turn the problem over to a judge to decide who is right, who is wrong (i.e., who has the better position). However, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) offers a variety of methods to resolve the matter though settlement instead of litigation. It is a voluntary process where parties, with the aid of a third party neutral, focus on achieving a mutually satisfactory solution rather than on determinating who has the stronger position. ADR usually involves a third party neutral who helps the parties design a process that they believe will aid them in finding mutually acceptable solutions to their disputes.

At FERC, the following groups assist parties with ADR:

  1. Dispute Resolution Division
    The Dispute Resolution Division (DRD) is a small service-oriented team that promotes timely and high quality resolutions of disputes through consensual decision-making.

    The DRD has two major functions:

    • To provide services such as mediation and facilitation in disputes involving entities subject to the Commission's jurisdiction. All communications with DRD representatives are privileged and confidential, unless otherwise agreed. DRD staff is not involved in the Commission's decisional processes, and does not advocate positions or conduct investigations.

    • To promote the use of ADR both within and outside of the Commission through activities such as consultation, workshops, collaboration, training, and coaching.

    • To learn more about ADR or begin an ADR process, please contact a Dispute Resolution Specialist listed under "Contact Information" module on the right side of the page.

    Learn more about Dispute Resolution


  2. Landowner Helpline
    The Landowner Helpline assists landowners and applicants in resolving disputes relating to the construction and operation of FERC jurisdictional natural gas and liquefied natural gas facilities. These disputes may involve issues such as the proper restoration of a pipeline's construction right-of-way or concerns pertaining to noise levels at a compressor station. The Landowner Helpline also helps landowners resolve disputes involving environmental, recreational and other matters that may arise during the licensing or relicensing of a FERC jurisdictional hydroelectric project.

  3. Administrative Law Judges and FERC Trial Staff
    Under the Commission's rules, Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) can serve as settlement judges and can conduct settlement negotiations, mediation, facilitation, and arbitration, as well as evaluate and certify settlements.

    FERC Trial Staff also plays a major role in helping parties to resolve disputes and settle cases. This assistance is primarily achieved through the use of early neutral evaluation techniques.

    To learn more please visit our Office of OALJDR and Trial Staff Assignments and Procedural Information sections.

    Visit our Settlements section to view examples of ALJ and FERC Trial Staff work.

  4. Enforcement Hotline
    The Enforcement Hotline invites market participants and the general public to call, email or write the Hotline to complain or report market activities or transactions that may be an abuse of market power, an abuse of an affiliate relationship, a tariff violation, or another possible violation by a FERC regulated entity.

    See a detailed description of the Enforcement Hotline



CONTACT
ADR Helpline
Toll-free: 1-844-238-1560
FAX: 202-219-2730
Email: ferc.adr@ferc.gov

Landowner Helpline
Toll-free: 1-877-337-2237
Fax: 202-219-2730
Email: landownerHelp@ferc.gov
 
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Updated: April 23, 2015