Comments are due by 5 pm, Monday, August 3 on the request by Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc. (DETI), submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on July 10, for an extension of time of 1) one-year to address abandonment and restoration issues for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and 2) two-years to complete construction of the Supply Header Project (SHP). For details on how to comment, click here.
The major points that should be made in comments are:
- The SHP time extension should be denied because it has not and cannot be justified in accordance with FERC standards. The project was proposed as being dependent upon the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). Dominion Energy clearly stated on the record that “the SHP does not have independent utility and would not be built without construction of the ACP.” If built, the SHP would be a pipeline to nowhere because the ACP project is dead!
- The extension request for the ACP to address abandonment and restoration activities along the project’s right-of-way should not be granted without a public comment period of at least 30-days. It is in the Commission’s interest to know the concerns that the public and affected landowners have about restoration activities and impacts on landowners’ rights in the future.
- Landowners who entered into an easement agreement with Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (Atlantic) should be provided an opportunity to be released from those agreements as a condition of FERC’s granting Atlantic its requested extension so that the landowners can once again utilize their land without the restrictions such agreements placed upon future use. The recommendation for such a remedy, made in a July 17 filing by a group of conservation organizations (cited below), should be adopted by FERC.
“Requiring Atlantic to promptly contact all landowners where a right-of-way easement exists and inform them that (i) Atlantic will release the right-of-way easement within 90 days of a written request from an affected landowner, (ii) Atlantic will provide the affected landowner with the proposed written release of the right-of-way easement, (iii) Atlantic will pay the reasonable attorneys’ fees of the affected landowner in reviewing and negotiating changes to the proposed written release of the right-of-way easement, and (iv) Atlantic will file the final, executed written release of the right-of-way easement in the land records of the appropriate jurisdiction. Atlantic has already committed that landowners will keep the easement compensation they have received.”
FERC’s agreement with this recommendation would be in keeping with the recently expressed interest by Chairman Chatterjee of the Commission being more response and sensitive to the interests and concerns of landowners who are affected by projects being considered by the Commission.