What happens at an Open House?*
One common misunderstanding is the difference between Open Houses and Scoping Meetings. Open Houses are sponsored by the Company, and Scoping Meetings are sponsored by FERC. As part of the Company’s community outreach program in Commission’s pre-filing process, the Company will hold Open Houses in the vicinity of the proposed project area to share information about its project with the public.
The Commission frequently sends staff to attend open houses during pre-filing to answer questions, discuss the FERC’s pre-filing process, and invite stakeholders/public to participate in the environmental and certificate application proceedings. An important component of the NEPA review of projects involves public input early in the process.
The goal of the Commission’s pre-filing process is to notify all project stakeholders, including potentially affected property owners, so that Company and the Commission Staff can provide a forum to hear the issues relevant to those stakeholders. The Company may then incorporate proposed mitigation measures into the project design from comments received from stakeholders.
*adapted from FERC website.