The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Tuesday, October 27 asked Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc. (DETI), managing partner for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Supply Header Project (SHP), to provide it “a plan for disposition of ACP and SHP, including restoration activities.” DETI was given 60 days from the date of the FERC letter to respond, which would be December 26. For a copy of the FERC request, click here.
DETI had requested in June of FERC a two-year extension of its FERC certificate in order to complete the SHP, and in a separate filing on July 10, following cancellation of the ACP, a one-year extension of its ACP certificate to implement abandonment of the ACP project areas that had been disturbed.
The FERC October 27 communication includes the following request that DETI’s plan include:
Discussion of the status of Atlantic’s/DETI’s consultation with landowners on matters pertaining to project disposition and restoration activities on their property, as applicable, including: a. preferences regarding treatment of pipeline segments that have already been installed (i.e., pipeline to be left in place or removed); b. preferences for removal of felled trees that have not been cleared; and c. preferences on how disturbed areas would be restored, depending on their land use type (e.g., forest, agricultural, etc.).
The Southern Environmental Law Center and many of those who submitted comments to FERC on the DETI July 10 request urged that the issue of landowner easements be included in the restoration plan.
ABRA has contacted FERC staff and learned that the submitted plans for ACP restoration and SHP construction will be published on the agency’s docket. A decision has not yet been made by FERC as to whether there will be an opportunity for public comment on the submitted plans. As has been previously reported in ABRA Update, approval of a restoration plan will require that some new permits be issued for the duration of the restoration work since most of the project’s permits that had been vacated by the Courts.
Given the timetable for the submission and approval of the restoration plan and SHP, it does not appear that final decisions by FERC on either request will be made until at least February or March 2021. Thus, restoration work on the ACP could extend well into 2022, nearly two years after the project’s cancellation.