Atlantic Coast Pipeline Construction To Resume
On Monday, September 17th, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission informed Dominion Energy that it was lifting the stop work order on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline it had issued August 10th. The order had been issued due to the vacating of permits previously given for crossing National Forest land and the Blue Ridge Parkway. On Sept. 11, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a revised biological opinion, which included a modified Incidental Take Statement, for the ACP and Supply Header Project. Additionally, on Sept. 14, the National Park Service issued a new right of way permit for crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Portions of the letter sent to Dominion said “Construction activities along project areas which had previously received a notice to proceed may now continue. Atlantic and DETI are required to comply with the reasonable and prudent alternatives, terms and conditions, monitoring and reporting requirements, and conservation recommendations set forth in the biological opinion. Further, prior to resuming previously authorized construction activities across federal lands or waters of the United States, Atlantic and DETI shall provide written concurrence from the Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the revised biological opinion is consistent with those agencies’ respective authorizations for the ACP and Supply Header Project.”
In a press release, Dominion spokesperson Aaron Ruby said “We are pleased to get back to work on this very important public infrastructure project. With FERC’s approval today, we are mobilizing our crews immediately to resume construction as authorized. We are closely monitoring weather conditions across the project footprint and will of course only resume work in areas where it is safe to do so and where weather conditions permit. We commend the Fish & Wildlife Service and National Park Service for promptly addressing the issues raised by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and FERC’s Stop Work Order. The agencies have reaffirmed that the project does not threaten any federally protected species and is consistent with the public use of the Blue Ridge Parkway.”
We thank the Highland-Bath Recorder for portions of this story.