ACP Route Restoration Plan Filed with FERC Leaves Unanswered Questions

A long-awaited restoration plan for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to address land and forests that were disrupted by the project before it was cancelled in July was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on January 4.  The filing was in response to a formal request by FERC on October 27.

Deliberations on Proposed Gold Mine in Buckingham County Continue

A proposed gold mining operation in Buckingham County, VA, first reported in the October 8 issue of ABRA Update, will be the subject of continued deliberation next week.  The Buckingham County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission will conduct a joint hearing on Monday,

VA DEQ Denies Water Quality Certification for MVP Under Army Corps Plan

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has denied water quality certification under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12 Permit program (NWP12) for any natural gas pipeline “greater than 36 inches inside diameter.”  The judgment was part of a December 21 letter from DEQ to the Army Corps’ Norfolk District Office that was released January 4. 

ABRA End of the Year Report for 2020

WE WON!

Those two words best summarize the 2020 accomplishments of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance.  Our coalition’s 6+ year effort to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was an achievement for which the dozens of member organizations and thousands of volunteers working within the ABRA umbrella can proudly claim credit. 

Talk About Being Out of Touch with the News!

The November 19 “Presidents Update” blog by the President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber Commerce, Bryan Stephens, celebrates the “recent common-sense ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States” in permitting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross underneath the Appalachian Trail. 

ACP Restoration Plans Still Somewhere on the Drawing Board

The restoration plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, requested on October 27 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and due by December 26, are still – as of this writing – somewhere in the works.  Plans for what to do about the unfinished Supply Header Project,

Giving Tuesday May Be Over, But Contributions to ABRA Are Still Timely

The new year is weeks away and ABRA is ready to meet the challenges of 2021:

  • We are poised to review the soon-to-be-released restoration plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route and to monitor closely the implementation of those plans to assure they are completed satisfactorily.

Fourth Circuit Explains and Reaffirms Stay of MVP’s Army Corps Permit

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on December 1 issued its opinion on the stay of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP12) it had granted in early November for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).  The challenge to NWP12 permits issued in September by the Huntington and Norfolk Districts of the Corps had been brought by a coalition of environmental groups,

Congressional Subcommittee Queries FERC on Landowner Issues

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (part of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform) has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to address several issues involving conflicts between landowners and natural gas pipeline companies. 

U.S. Senate Confirms Two New FERC Commissioners

The U.S. Senate on November 30 confirmed the two nominees for outstanding vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  The two new commissioners are:

  • Mark Christie, Republican, who has been a longtime member and most recently Chairman of the Virginia State Corporation Commission
  • Allision Clements,

ABRA, SELC Honored by Rockbridge Area Conservation Council

ABRA and Southern Environmental Law Center were each honored for their role in fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) at the November 8 Board of Directors meeting of the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council (RACC).

SELC received the Relentless Warriors Award in recognition for its “dedicated pursuit of justice and tireless work,

New Study Highlights How Big Banks Support the Unneeded MVP

A new study from Oil Change International (OCI) reveals that several major U.S. banks have substantially increased their investment in the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

“New Money Behind the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” released by on November 12,

U.S. Senate Committee Approves New FERC Commissioners

Two nominees for vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) were approved by the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  The two nominees, Mark Christie and Allison Clements, had been nominated by President Trump in July.

Mr.

FERC Formally Requests ACP Restoration Plans

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Tuesday, October 27 asked Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc. (DETI), managing partner for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Supply Header Project (SHP), to provide it “a plan for disposition of ACP and SHP,

MVP Further Delayed and Costs Soar; Challenge to BiOp Filed

Completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) will be delayed until the second half of 2021, according to Equitrans Midstream Corp., the lead partner of the project.  The project is now expected to cost nearly $6 billion, a more than 50% increase in the project’s projected cost when construction began in 2018. 

ABRA’s Conservation Hub Launches Ambitious Forest Service Project

ABRA’s new Conservation Hub program, which was featured in the lead article in the October 23 ABRA Update, is embarking on a major project that will be the first of its kind in the nation. 

Guidance Issued to Federal Agencies on NEPA Compliance

The Director of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued on November 2 a memorandum to the heads of all departments and agencies of the Federal Government providing guidance on how to implement a new rule that was adopted in July that revises procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

Your Help Is Needed. Our New Initiatives Will Require Funding.

ABRA’s new program directions will require new sources of funding.  We welcome and encourage contributions to support our continuing work to promote and protect the ecological integrity of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge region.  Tax-exempt donations may be made to ABRA, as follows:

By check: Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance,

ABRA Embarks on Exciting New Directions

In August ABRA launched its new Conservation Hub, a program designed to enhance the capabilities of environmental, conservation and citizen groups to better assess the impacts of projects in the greater Allegheny-Blue Ridge region and to help assure that the overall environmental integrity of the region is maintained.

ABRA Pursues Additional New Initiatives

With the July 5 cancellation of the Atlantic Coat Pipeline (ACP), ABRA is focusing on several other initiatives, in addition to the new Conservation Hub program.

  • ABRA’s work on the ACP will continue over the next year and beyond to assure that there is a responsible and thorough restoration of the land disturbance that occurred along the route,

Proposed Gold Mine Could Threaten Buckingham County, James River

A Canadian mining company, Aston Bay Holdings, has been exploring Buckingham County, VA for the establishment of a large, open-pit gold mining operation.  Though the company began drilling exploratory holes in 2016, plans for the mine did not come to light until quite recently. 

FERC Decisions on ACP Restoration Still Under Review

It has been almost 10 weeks since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) received comments from the public on the request by Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (ACP, LLC) for: 1) a one-year extension of its certificate (which expires October 13,

New Army Corps Permits for MVP Are Challenged in Court

A group of five conservation organizations have petitioned the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the new Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP12) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) that was issued September 25 by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.  The NWP12 permit is required to permit the project to cross streams and rivers. 

Forest Service Releases Draft Supplemental EIS for MVP

The Supervisor of the Jefferson National Forest (JNG), Joby Timm, announced on September 25 the availability of a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).  The action is pursuant to a July 30 Notice of Intent from the Forest Service (see ABRA Update of July 30). 

MVP Seeks Permission to Restart Construction

Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (MVP, LLC) has requested the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to authorize construction activities on the MVP to resume. Construction on the pipeline was ceased in August 2018 and again in October 2019 as the result of various legal challenges. 

FERC Is Asked to Conduct New Environmental Analysis for MVP

Eight environmental groups have filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking that it supplement its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project to address significant new circumstances and information bearing on MVP’s environmental impacts.”  The August 27 filing cites several federal permits that the MVP project is missing. 

New Report Details How Big Banks Have Propped up the Shale Industry

new report by Oil Change International and Rainforest Action Network shows how major banks have continued pouring money into fracking companies in recent years despite numerous warnings that the sector was financially unsustainable — on top of the well-documented environmental,

Decisions by FERC on ACP Time Extension Requests Still Pending

It has been two-months since Dominion Energy Transportation, Inc. (DETI), the managing partner of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project, requested of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) an extension of one year to complete abandonment and restoration of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project and a two-year extension to construct and place the now-cancelled Supply Header Project (SHP) into service while DETI evaluates options for the potential use of some or all of it. 

Comments Due Friday, September 11 on MVP Extension Request

Comments on the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s request for a two-year extension of its certificate to construct the pipeline, which is due to expire October 13, are due to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by 5 pm on Friday, September 11. 

Fish and Wildlife Service Issues New Biological Opinion for MVP

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued September 4 a new Biological Opinion (BiOp) and Incidental Take Statement (ITC) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. An earlier BiOp and ITC had been subject to legal challenges in 2019.  The process of writing a new BiOp and ITC has been proceeding for an extended period.