Fifteen conservation groups were represented in comments filed September 13 by the Southern Environmental Law Center, Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Chesapeake Bay Foundation regarding the Draft Supplemental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route that was published on July 23 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (For background information, click here.)
Among the points made in the groups’ comments were:
- The Commission’s order resolving the certificate amendment proceeding should require Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (Atlantic) to release easements upon request from private landowners or open-space easement holders.
- FERC should preserve its proposed condition that Atlantic honor landowner preferences regarding removal of felled trees and should include a similar condition for other restoration requirements.
- FERC should not permit Atlantic to engage in new tree-felling (as the company has proposed in its submitted plan) with setbacks around wetlands and waterbodies, in order to move equipment between work areas where tree felling has already occurred.
- FERC should address the recent failures of Atlantic’s erosion and sediment controls and require the company to upgrade such controls to protect erosion resources.
A copy of the complete comments is available here. Among the other comments filed in response to the draft SEIS were those of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, submitted on behalf of state agencies concerned with the ACP. For a copy, click here. A review of the FERC docket did not reveal comments on the SEIS from either the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection or the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.