“VioBlitz” Uncovers Over 100 Potential MVP Violations

Impacted landowners, concerned citizens, and trained volunteer monitors participated in a “VioBlitz” over the August 9-11 weekend.  Sponsored by the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, an ABRA member and a partner in the ABRA CSI program (Compliance Surveillance Initiative), participants traveled portions of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and documented as many permit violations as possible over a 3-day period.

Legal Challenge to FERC Certificate Scheduled for October 16 Oral Argument

The challenge to the Federal Energy Commission’s (FERC) approval of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline been scheduled for oral argument on October 16 before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The plaintiffs are 14 conservation groups, including several ABRA members, that are represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and Appalachian Mountain Advocates.

New Rule Announced That Reduces Endangered Species Protections

A new rule that would significantly limit the protections for endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was announced August 12 by the Trump Administration.  The rule, originally proposed in July 2018, will go into effect 30-days after it is published in the Federal Register (as of August 15,

Water Rule Rewrite Would Weaken Requirements for Pipeline Projects

A new proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would weaken the ability of states to regulate their own waters.  The rule, proposed by EPA on August 12, will have a 60-day comment period that begins when the rule is published in the Federal Register (which had not happened as of August 15). 

Environment Groups Ask North Carolina to Revoke ACP’s 401 Certificate

A petition filed this week with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) requests that the agency revoke the 401-certification granted to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  In its August 13 letter to NCDEQ, Friends of the Earth and the NC Climate Solutions Network state:

Facts we have discovered since January of 2018 show significant adverse impact to the largest community of American Indians east of the Mississippi River from the construction and operation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and projects dependent upon it. 

Forest Service Proposes Limiting Public Comments in NEPA Reviews

A proposal by the U.S. Forest Service (NFS) would severely limit the opportunities for
the public to comment on environmental analysis conducted by the agency in accordance with
requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The proposed public
comment restriction is part of a proposed rule by the NFS “to increase efficiency in its
environmental analysis.” Public comments on the proposed rule are due August 12.

Halt to Future ACP Construction Requested in Wake of FWS Court Decision

Construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) should be prohibited because of the
July 26 decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the biological opinion
(BiOp)and incidental take statement (ITC) issued by the U.S.

Opposition Voiced Against Corps of Engineers Permit Modifications

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition and 22 other organizations (including ABRA and
several of its members) filed comments on July 26 with the West Virginia Department of
Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) proposed modification of Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12),

Wild Virginia to Sponsor Camping Trip Along the ACP Route

Wild Virginia is sponsoring an overnight trip on August 24th-25th that will explore some
special areas along the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline route in Bath County. The event will
involve a tour and camping on the property of Bill and Lynn Limpert on August 24th,

Fourth Circuit Vacates Fish and Wildlife Permit for ACP . . . Again

The Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 struck down the latest permit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had issued for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).  The issue arose from a requirement in the Endangered Species Act that (quoting from the decision) “the proposed pipeline will not jeopardize the continued existence of several endangered and threatened species that are likely to be impacted by pipeline construction.