Dominion Power pipeline and National Forest land
An update on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on National Forest lands.
On September 29, 2014, the George Washington-Jefferson National Forest received a proposal for a special use permit from Dominion Power to survey a route for a gas line across National Forest lands. This proposal requests permission to survey the natural and cultural resources, and National Forest management activities along this route. The Forest Service has not yet accepted this proposal. If accepted, it becomes an application and then we will have a 2-week public comment period where the community can tell us their concerns with issuing a permit to survey. If we issue this permit to survey, it will be issued by the end of calendar year 14 for a duration of approximately one year.
If after completing the surveys, Dominion wants to build a pipeline across multiple states, then the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will be the lead regulatory agency. FERC will conduct the environmental analysis and public involvement for the entire pipeline, including federal lands and the consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the State Historic Preservation Officer, in accordance with NEPA. The public will submit comments directly to FERC regarding their concerns on National Forest lands. If the proposed pipeline crosses National Forest lands, the Forest Service will be the cooperating agency and will review the portions of the environmental analysis and public comments pertaining to federal lands.
If FERC issues a Certificate of Need for the pipeline, Dominion will apply to the Forest Service for a second Special Use Permit to construct, operate and maintain a pipeline on National Forest land. The Forest Service will make the decision on whether or not to issue a Right-of-Way special use permit to construct, operate, and maintain the pipeline. The basis for this decision will be on FERC’s environmental analysis and public comments related to National Forest lands.
There is no right of eminent domain over National Forest lands.