ACP Construction Halted
In a letter sent to Dominion Energy late on Friday, August 10th, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered a halt to construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. FERC issued the work stoppage order based on a decision handed down by the U.S. Court of appeals for the 4th Circuit, which rejected two permits previously issued for the project, one from the National Park Service allowing tunneling under the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the second issued by the U.S. Park and Wildlife Service regarding impact on endangered species.
Environmental groups lauded the decision, and called for a re-hearing for the overall project permit, but that appears unlikely at this time.
One of the groups applauding the halt was the Allegheny Blue Ridge Alliance, which issued a press release Friday which said, in part, “The Court properly recognized in its decision that permits issued for the ACP by some federal agencies were done in haste and in contradiction to those agencies’ own regulatory standards. ABRA and its members have long argued that the approval process for the ACP was deeply flawed. We are heartened that the 4th Circuit has recognized the legitimacy of our arguments and we hope that FERC and other relevant government agencies will take a second look at their earlier decisions to approve the project in the first place.”
Dominion spokesperson Aaron Ruby issued a statement from the company, which said, in part, “We are already working with the key agencies to resolve the issues in FERC’s order so we can resume construction as soon as possible. We are confident these issues can be resolved quickly without causing unnecessary delay to the project.
FERC has given us the opportunity to provide evidence of any portions of the project that serve an independent public need and are not impacted by the recent court rulings. We will respond with strong evidence demonstrating the independent public need to proceed with construction of the Supply Header project, as well as portions of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in West Virginia, eastern Virginia and North Carolina. These portions of the project will serve home heating and manufacturing needs in eastern Virginia and North Carolina and are not affected by recent court rulings. “
For the full content of both press release, please see this story on our website, www.alleghenymountainradio.org.
For AMR, this is Scott Smith.