The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved at its March 24 meeting a restoration plan for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and for the associated Supply Header Project (SHP). The restoration of the ACP route will be the responsibility of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (Atlantic), while the SHP restoration will the responsibility of the Eastern Gas Transmission and Storage, Inc. (EGTS), the firm that purchased from Atlantic the SHP project after the cancellation of both projects. (Click here for background story on the ACP restoration plan that was submitted to FERC.)
In approving the plan submitted by Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC in January 2021, FERC rejected the request that ABRA and many of its members made for the Commission to make as a condition of plan approval a requirement that easements acquired for the project be relinquished to affected landowners so that they would once again have full use of their property. The Commission’s Order on the restoration plan addressed that issue, as follows:
“Several landowners, citizen groups, and individuals filed protests and adverse comments on the Restoration Plans due to Atlantic’s and EGTS’s intention not to commit to voluntarily relinquish all easements acquired for the projects but to determine disposition on a case-by-case basis upon completion of restoration. Commenters explain that the existence of easements, on many of which there has been no tree felling or ground disturbance, inhibit the landowner’s ability to enjoy, develop, and sell their land, and diminish property values and, thus, tax assessments, to the detriment of the local economy.”
“While we acknowledge the concerns raised by landowners and others, we find that imposing conditions governing disposition of the easements is not required to ensure the proposed restoration is in the public convenience and necessity. In addition, as a practical matter the Commission’s ability to impose conditions on Atlantic’s and EGTS’s pending request is limited. “
The complete text of the Commission’s Order is available here.