• Conservation groups comment to Army Corps on MVP permit

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    Twenty-two conservation groups, including ABRA and several of its members, filed comments on November 19 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the permit application for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) to cross rivers and streams under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

  • Virginia Water Board to consider permit for MVP on December 14

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    The Virginia State Water Control Board will consider at its December 14 meeting in Richmond the pending application for a water protection permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). The meeting will be held at the Gallery, Community College Workforce Alliance,

  • Jordan Cove project in Oregon cancelled, ending a 17-year battle

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    The proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon and the associated 229-mile natural gas pipeline have been cancelled. The action was announced in a December 1 filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requesting that the agency vacate the project’s authorization.

  • Release of final SEIS for ACP restoration is delayed

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has announced a revised schedule for releasing a final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and making a final decision on the restoration plan that had been submitted for the now-cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Originally,

  • Key decisions on MVP to be made soon

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    Several key decisions are due to be made soon concerning necessary permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Here’s a review of some key dates:

    • Army Corps of Engineers consideration of a 404 permit for the MVP to cross streams and rivers – deadline for comments is 11:59 pm,
  • Senate confirms new FERC Commissioner

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    Willie Phillips has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The November 16 action was on a voice vote. Phillips has been Chair of the District of Columbia Public Service Commission and before that was assistant general counsel for the North American Electric Reliability Corp.

  • New Director of the National Park Service is confirmed

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    Charles Sams was confirmed as the new Director of the National Park Service on a voice vote by the U.S. Senate on November 18. Sams has been a member of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and has served as Executive Director of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

  • Two legal challenges to MVP heard before Fourth Circuit

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    A three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on October 29 on two separate cases brought by ABRA members challenging permits issued for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

    The first case, Wild Virginia v.

  • WV mine safety site gets O.K., despite environmental concerns

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    A proposed mine safety test facility to be located in Mace, WV, straddling the Pocahontas-Randolph county line, has been approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), despite strong opposition over environmental issues from conservation groups in WV,

  • A virtual tour of Proposed Shenandoah Mountain Scenic Area

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    Friends of Shenandoah Mountain (FSM), a long-time ABRA member, has proposed that a 90,000-acre tract of the George Washington National Forest be designated by Congress as a National Scenic Area. FSM has just created a virtual tour of the proposed Scenic Area site.

  • WV Highlands Conservancy voices concerns over forest project

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    A proposed project in the Monongahela National Forest (MNF) has evoked strong concerns from the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (Conservancy), the state’s most prominent conservation organization and a founding member of ABRA. The stated purpose by the MNF of the Gauley Healthy Forest Restoration Project (GHFRP),

  • Comments on MVP stream crossings due October 27

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    Comments on the request by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC to have a new Section 401 Water Protection Permit issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for MVP related to its crossing streams and wetlands in Virginia are due October 27. 

  • Final SEIS on ACP Restoration to be published by November 19

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will be releasing by November 19 the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the restoration work that must be done on the route for the now-cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).  The SEIS will be a crucial document in FERC’s approval for the restoration plans submitted earlier this year for the ACP and the related Supply Header Project. 

  • REMINDER: Army Corps hearings for MVP on November 1 and 4

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    Public hearings by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the permit application submitted by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC for its proposed pipeline to cross certain bodies of water along the project’s path in West Virginia and Virginia will be held November 1,

  • Endangered species regulatory changes close to happening

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    The significant revisions made to the Endangered Species Act regulations by the Trump Administration in December 2020 are close to being reversed by the Biden Administration.  The U.S. Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) developed last summer proposed regulations to undue the Trump changes that had relaxed protection criteria for critical habitats of endangered species. 

  • 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.

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