• Army Corps to hold MVP hearings on MVP permit application

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    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced September 30 that it will conduct two virtual public hearings to solicit the views of interested persons regarding the permit application submitted by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC to cross certain bodies of water along the project’s path in West Virginia and Virginia. 

  • Biden Administration proposes changes to strengthen NEPA

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    Proposed changes in regulations governing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) were announced October 6 by the Biden Administration. NEPA is the basic law governing the manner in which environmental reviews are conducted of proposed projects, such as pipelines.  The announced revisions would reverse changes made to NEPA regulations in 2020 by former President Trump (for earlier ABRA Update article on Trump changes,

  • Virginia FOIA training sessions being offered

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    The Virginia Freedom of Information Council, a state agency, has announced it will be conducting online training sessions about the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and how to use it.

    A session on “Access to Public Records will be held October 27 at 10 am. 

  • Conservation groups comment on ACP restoration proposal

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    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.

  • FERC still on schedule in its review of ACP restoration plan

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    When the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) restoration plan was published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on July 23, it was indicated that a final SEIS was to be published by November 19 and an Authorization Decision Deadline was set for February 17,

  • FERC urged to require a Supplemental EIS for the MVP

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    Twenty conservation organizations (including ABRA and several of its members), urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on September 13 to require a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) regarding the project’s application for an amendment to its FERC certificate. 

  • New FERC Commissioner named by President Biden

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    President Biden announced on September 9 his intent to nominate to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Willie L. Phillips, Jr., currently Chairman of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia.  FERC currently has four sitting Commissioners as the result of the departure in July of Neil Chatterjee,

  • Governor Northam Appoints New Secretary of Natural Resources

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    Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced on September 22 he was appointing Ann Jennings as the new Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources.  Ms. Jennings has served as Deputy Secretary of the department and replaces Matt Strickler, who was appointed to the position when Governor Northam took office in 2018. 

  • Comments due September 13 on draft SEIS for ACP restoration

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    Comments on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for restoration work on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route are due on Monday, September 13.  The DESIS was published July 23 (for background and a link to the draft, click here). 

  • Mountaintop mining causes biodiversity losses, new study says

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    The September 2 issue of Science Daily reports on a new study that concludes biological diversity is “severely threatened by mountaintop coal mining.”  The study was conducted by a research team led by Dr. Emily Bernhardt of Duke University and published this past summer in the journal Ecological Applications

  • Concerns about MVP compressor station voiced to Virginia DEQ

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    Serious concerns about the public engagement and participation process for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) were voiced by 32 conservation groups, including ABRA and many of its members, in an August 17 letter to David Paylor, Director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

  • FERC staff signs-off on MVP proposal for waterbody crossings

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff has given an initial o.k. to the proposal for the Mountain Valley Pipeline to change the method of crossing waterbodies and wetlands from open-cut dry crossings (as originally approved by FERC in issuing the project a certificate) to trenchless methods,

  • Complaint filed to obtain records Forest Service is withholding

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    A complaint was filed August 3 with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to obtain information from the U.S. Forest Service that it has withheld for over a year about the proposed Gauley Healthy Forest Restoration Project (GHFR) within the Monongahela National Forest (MNF),

  • Conservation groups support new SEIS for MVP

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    Nineteen conservation groups filed comments August 2 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in support of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement regarding the request by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC to change the method of crossing 182 waterbodies along the route of the company’s proposed pipeline.

  • FERC publishes a Draft SEIS for ACP restoration

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) published on July 23 a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the restoration plans that have been respectively submitted for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the related Supply Header Project. A copy of the 700+ page document is available by clicking here.

  • EIS for Atlantic Coast Pipeline restoration still on schedule at FERC

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    A draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for restoration of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route is still on track to be released by the end of July, according to conversations ABRA had this week with key staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

  • White House unveils environmental justice plans

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    The Biden White House provided details this week of how it will begin the process of ensuring at least 40% of the benefits from federal energy and environmental spending reach disadvantaged communities.  In a July 20 memorandum to the heads of all federal departments and agencies,

  • Army Corps extends time for VA DEQ to act on MVP 401 request

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    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) an additional six months for it to act on a request for water quality certification for the new water crossings proposed for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. 

  • Off-road vehicles on public lands: a growing issue in WV

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    Recent efforts in the West Virginia General Assembly to promote off-highway vehicles (ORVs) on public lands is a growing concern among conservation groups in West Virginia.  In the 2021 session of the West Virginia General Assembly there were 8 bills and 2 resolutions introduced to promote the use of off-road vehicles on West Virginnia’s public lands.

  • Virginia certification of MVP water crossings still uncertain

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    The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has responded to a May 13 request from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as to whether DEQ intended to require for the Mountain Valley Pipeline a new certificate under section 401 of the Clean Water Act concerning the project’s proposal to change the waterbody crossing method for the project at 120 stream or river crossings,

  • New GAO report on pipeline safety released

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    The General Accountability Office (GAO), a research agency that is part of the U.S. Congress, released a new study last month on pipeline safety.  Performance Measures Needed to Assess Recent Changes to Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Regulations was released June 22. 

  • DC Circuit slams FERC criteria for approving pipelines

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    The long-standing practice of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) justifying the need for a new pipeline by over relying on a pipeline’s plans to sell gas to an associated company (e.g., precedent agreements) to establish market need was called into serious question by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in a decision released June 22. 

  • Conservation Hub takes flight

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    In August of last year, shortly after the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, ABRA announced the launch of a new program…the Conservation Hub. Building on the experience and success of the Compliance Surveillance Initiative, or CSI,

  • VA DEQ urged to require certification for MVP water crossings

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    Fifteen conservation organizations, including ABRA, wrote the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on June 21 arguing that the agency must require certification under section 401 of the Clean Water Act for the Mountain Valley Pipeline to tunnel under nearly 100 streams and wetlands in Virginia. 

  • West Virginia Rivers releases new video on MVP water violations

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    West Virginia Rivers Coalition, an ABRA member, released this week an excellent video documenting the serious stream sediment violations – 50 incidents – that have occurred because of construction activity of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).  The video (2 ½ minutes) depicts the significant inadequacy of the MVP’s attempts to control dangerous sediment from fouling West Virginia streams and rivers that are in the path of the project. 

  • Concerns expressed about MVP compressor station permit hearing

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    A planned July 7 hearing by the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board on the proposed Lambert Compressor Station (LCS) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline has received strong criticism from a cross-section of conservation and citizen organizations.  In a June 23 letter to David Paylor,

  • Conservation groups urge Army Corps to reject 404 permit for MVP

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    Twenty conservation groups, including ABRA and several of its members, have urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject the pending application by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC for its pipeline project to receive a permit for stream crossings under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. 

  • ACP responds to FERC questions on pipeline restoration plans

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    Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (ACP, LLC) has responded to a list of 51 questions posed to it by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)  in a May 7 request.  FERC’s questions covered a wide range of topics,

  • New book on Appalachian Trail’s history published this week

    - A new book that explores the history and development of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which is such a prominent feature in our region, was published June 8.

    The Appalachian Trail: A Biography is authored by Phil D’Anieri,

  • Landowners urge FERC to institute new policy in pipeline approvals

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    Landowners whose property rights have been threatened by natural gas pipeline projects throughout the nation, including some along the now-cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline, have told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that its current policy for approving such projects is “archaic and in dire need of revision.”

    The comments were filed May 26 on behalf of the landowners by the Niskanen Center,

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