A “lack of sufficient data” about the biological impacts of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) was cited as a major concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that, until this week, had been shielded from public view. The March 30 letter from John Schmidt, Field Supervisor for the West Virginia FWS office, had been classified as “Privileged” but was obtained this week under the Freedom of Information Act by The Recorder newspaper. It was written as comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the ACP on behalf of FWS field offices in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
As the Recorder reported in its June 29 issue (see full article below, In the News):
One concern shared by field offices in all three states concluded the draft EIS was so sketchy with respect to karst, and endangered and threatened species survey data that the USFWS could not begin discussions about the document.
“The Service cannot initiate formal consultation with this DEIS; we still lack sufficient data to form a biological opinion for multiple species due to incomplete survey data,” the letter states.