The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been urged to reject any request the agency might receive from Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC to bypass tree clearing restrictions under provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). In a March 27 letter, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) pointed out that FERC’s certificate for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) called for compliance with MBTA provisions. The issue arises because of a February 2020 proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to rollback protections for incidental takes against migratory birds. SELC filed comments with FWS on March 19 on behalf of ABRA and several of its member organizations, taking exception to the proposed FWS changes. The SELC letter points out that ACP had asked FERC in March 2018 for permission to bypass tree clearing restrictions, a request that FERC denied.
A copy of SELC’s letter to FERC, which includes its FWS comments, is available here.