A group of six ABRA members – Appalachian Voices, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, and Wild Virginia – have asked the Federal Regulatory Commission to issue a stop work order for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The request, sent November 27 by Appalachian Mountain Advocates on behalf of the six organizations, noted that the project had recently lost permits from three U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts (Norfolk, Wilmington and Huntington) to construct the ACP over streams under the Corps’ Nationwide 12 permit. Continuing, the letter states:
As a result of the suspensions of those three authorizations, Atlantic no longer has the requisite federal approval to construct any stream or wetland crossing along its entire route. Atlantic also lacks NWP 12’s authorization for “temporary structures, fills, and work necessary for the remediation of inadvertent returns of drilling fluids to waters of the United States through subsoil fissures or fractures that might occur during horizontal directional drilling [HDD] activities,” meaning that Atlantic lacks the ability to promptly and legally control the all-too-common inadvertent releases from HDD operations that might be performed in lieu of in-stream crossings. Because those mandatory federal authorizations are now lacking, FERC must not allow pipeline construction to continue, not only in waters of the United States but anywhere along the pipeline route.