The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) “should not accept the Cornelian
dilemma presented by Dominion’s poorly planned route that pits mountain forests on protected
lands against the same mountain forests on protected lands,” states a motion filed with the
agency on October 13. The motion was filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center on
behalf of the Shenandoah Valley Network, Highlanders for Responsible Development,
Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation and Natural Resources Defense Council.
The issue arises out of a proposal by Dominion Transmission, Inc., managing partner for
the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, to cross eleven properties in Virginia with conservation
easements held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF). The motion argues:
- The proposed conversion of conservation easement land would be the largest ever
undertaken in Virginia and would seriously undermine public trust in the state’s
conservation easement program.
- Dominion’s proposal is inconsistent with Virginia state law.
While VOF has not yet taken action on the proposal, the agency, along with the affected
easement donors, local governments and land trusts throughout the Commonwealth do not
support Dominion’s proposal.