The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is expected to be released first thing Friday morning, July 21 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was released December 30 and was the subject of extensive comments and public hearings. ABRA produced an extensive review of the DEIS (available on the ABRA website), pointing the extensive shortcomings, missing information and erroneous conclusions.
ABRA will be posting a link on our website to the FEIS on Friday morning and will be issuing a statement to the media. We will also be sending to all recipients of ABRA Update a copy of our press release and a link to the FEIS.
The FEIS is generated by the FERC staff and is one of the major inputs into the decision-making process for the ACP. The decision by the sitting FERC commissioners on whether to issue a permit for the ACP is scheduled to be made by October 19. However, if that timetable is to hold, it will be necessary for the U.S. Senate to confirm pending nominations for two new FERC commissioners since the 5-member body is down to one sitting member; three members constitute a quorum. It is not clear at this writing when the Senate will take up pending nominations of four newly named commissioners (see story below). And, even if the new FERC members are confirmed before the planned congressional recess in August, it is not clear how long it will take the newly reconstituted Commission to get through the backlog of decisions awaiting action since the body lost its quorum earlier this year with the resignation of Commissioner Norman Bay. Both factors could influence the timing of the ACP permit decision.