The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released last Fall a new schedule for its consideration of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). FERC asked the National Forest Service (USFS) to comment on the schedule. Final approval of the project by FERC requires the issuance of a special use permit by the NFS regarding the pipeline’s proposed path through the Monongahela National Forest and the George Washington National Forest (GWNF).
On December 13, the Forest Service wrote FERC strongly objecting to the proposed timetable. The USFS letter stated that “the Forest Service does not concur with the permitting timetable and requests that the permitting timetable be revised to state that the final completion date of the Forest Service’s consideration of the special use permit application is “To Be Determined.” The letter points out that FERC’s timetable fails to consider procedures required by federal law, therefore making the proposed deadlines for NFS action incorrect and at odds with applicable law. Also at issue are amendments to the existing Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) that is being sought for the ACP. The Forest Plan for the GWNF was adopted in 2014 after a multi-year effort involving input from thousands of citizens.
Please write within the next week to key USFS officials and urge them to:
- Conduct a complete and thorough review of the pending application for a special use permit for the ACP, as required by law;
- Do not amend the existing Forest Plan for the George Washington National Forest.
Thank you for your help!