A new request to halt construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) was made to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in a January 14 filing by the Southern Environmental Law Center, Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Chesapeake Bay Foundation on behalf of their respective client groups. While construction on the ACP ceased more than a year ago in the wake of the project losing its Biological Opinion and Take Statement, as required by the Endangered Species Act, the project’s managing partner, Dominion Energy, has indicated its intention to resume construction as soon as a new Biological Opinion and Take Statement is issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).  The FWS has not announced plans for reissuing a revised permit.

The request to FERC points out that with the recent loss of the Buckingham compressor station air permit – struck down January 7 by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (see ABRA Update #259, January 9 for details) – there are been 8 missing permits for the project:

  1. Nationwide Permit 12 Verification, Pittsburgh District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: suspended by Pittsburgh District, Nov. 20, 2018.
  2. Nationwide Permit 12 Verification, Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: suspended by Norfolk District, Nov. 20, 2018.
  3. Nationwide Permit 12 Verification, Wilmington District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: suspended by Wilmington District, Nov. 20, 2018.
  4. Special Use Permit and Record of Decision, U.S. Forest Service: vacated by Fourth Circuit, Dec. 13, 2018 Cowpasture River Pres. Ass’n v. Forest Serv., 911 F.3d 150 (4th Cir. 2018).
  5. Right-of-Way and Construction Permits, National Park Service: remanded by Fourth Circuit, Jan. 23, 2019, to be vacated by Park Service. Order (Dkt. 51), Sierra Club v. U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, No. 18-2095 (4th Cir. Jan. 23, 2019).
  6. Nationwide Permit 12 Verification, Huntington District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: vacated by Fourth Circuit, Jan. 25, 2019. Order (Dkt. 67), Sierra Club v. U.S. Army Corps of Eng’rs, No. 18-1743 (4th Cir. Jan. 25, 2019).
  7. Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: vacated by Fourth Circuit, July 26, 2019. Defenders of Wildlife v. U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, 931 F.3d 339 (4th Cir. 2019).
  8. Article 6 Permit, Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board (implementing federal Clean Air Act requirements): vacated by Fourth Circuit, January 7, 2020. Friends of Buckingham, 2019 WL 63295 (4th Cir. Jan. 7, 2020).
FERC Is Asked to Halt ACP Construction