The long-anticipated decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the route restoration of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is expected be forthcoming this month. FERC announced in November that a final decision on a restoration plan for the project would be made by March 17, 2022.
Following the July 5, 2020 announcement of the cancellation of the ACP, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (ACP, LLC) filed with FERC on January 4, 2021 a proposed plan for restoration of the ACP route. A restoration plan for the Supply Header Project (a related 37-mile pipeline project that would have connected the ACP to other pipelines in northern West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania) was filed with FERC on November 20, 2020. At the time of the ACP cancellation, there was approximately 31.4 miles of installed pipe in place and 108.4 miles of felled trees along the 600-mile route of the project.
A final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that assessed the environmental impacts of the proposed restoration plan was released on December 17, 2021 (click here for a copy of the SEIS, which includes a 4-page Executive Summary of the 901-page document).
ABRA was in contact this week with FERC staff overseeing the ACP restoration plan. Regarding the decision-making process for the plan, we were told:
- The ACP Restoration Plan will require Commission action—whether to approve it; not approve it; or approve it with conditions
- The Commission’s next scheduled meeting will be Thursday, March 24. One-week prior to that, March 17, a “Sunshine Notice” will be published that discloses the projects for which the Commission intends to issue Orders f during its meeting.
FERC staff and the Commissioners are aware of the request that ABRA and its members made in comments to the agency to require ACP, LLC to relinquish easements it obtained for the ACP as a condition of approval of the restoration plan. Whatever the Commission’s final position on the easement issue turns out to be, it would be conveyed in the Order.