Virginia SCC Rejects Dominion IRP, ACP Construction Halted
In a press release from the Southern Environmental Law Center dated Friday, December 7th, it was announced that the Virginia State Corporation Commission issued an order rejecting Dominion Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan, which lays out the utility’s plans for meeting energy needs for years to come in Virginia. This is the first time the Virginia SCC has ever outright rejected a plan from the energy company.
The Southern Environmental Law Center noted the ACP project relies heavily on claims for need in Dominion’s Integrated Resource Plan, or IRP. SELC attorney Will Cleveland said, “Since at least 2015, Dominion has told federal regulators that the pipeline is needed because the demand for power is growing. But now we know that the company has been getting its predictions wrong for years. If Virginia doesn’t need new gas-fired power plants, we also don’t need the ACP to run them.”
Also Friday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Fish and Wildlife Service approvals for the ACP, which must be in place before Dominion can harm threatened and endangered species. The Court rejected the original permit in May 2018. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has now temporarily shut down construction on the entire project.
SELC attorney Patrick Hunter said, “The Fish and Wildlife Service scrambled to reissue this permit, and its haste is evident in its analysis. This is yet another instance of government agencies rushing out ill-considered permits for this project.”
And SELC senior attorney Greg Buppert said, “It’s time that decision makers recognize the ACP for what it is: an abuse of Dominion’s monopoly power that will hurt the people and environment of Virginia.”
The Southern Environmental Law Center is currently challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s certification of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Permit in court.