EIS for Atlantic Coast Pipeline restoration still on schedule at FERC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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,

Recorder News Editor John Bruce passes away

John Bruce, long-time News Editor of The Recorder newspaper, which serves the Virginia counties of Highland and Bath, passed away suddenly the evening of June 9.  John wrote brilliant articles in the Recorder over the past 7 years on the saga of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Seven years ago this past week . . .

Seven years ago, this past week, landowners and local officials began receiving communications from Dominion Energy announcing its intention to build a natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina.  Initially called the Southeast Reliability Project, the project was renamed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline when Dominion formed a joint venture with Duke Energy for the project,

FERC to prepare SEIS for ACP and SHP restoration plans

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has announced it will prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the restoration plans that have been proposed for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the associated Supply Header Project (SHP).  The ACP plan was filed by Atlantic Coast Pipeline,

Group say 401 certification required MVP water

Eight conservation groups have urged the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to issue a a certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s requested approval of new waterbody crossing methods for the project. 

Poll: Americans support climate action, oppose fossil fuel phaseout

Americans are broadly supportive of a range of policy approaches that would help address climate change, including greater reliance on renewables, but there is limited support for phasing out the use of fossil fuels altogether, according to a new public poll.

Five new mini-docs on eminent domain and pipelines are released

The Property Rights and Pipeline Center, a national coalition of which ABRA is a member, this week released five new mini-documentary films about the unjust manner in which the power of eminent domain is granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 

Book recommendation: Finding the Mother Tree

“As gripping as any HBO drama series,” states the Observer newspaper about the new book by British Columbia forest ecologist Suzanne Simard.  The book, published earlier this month, has received rave reviews from the Guardian, Wall Street Journal,

Conservation groups urge VA DEQ to adopt turbidity standards

Twenty-four conservation groups have urged the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to develop standards that “effectively control turbidity and solids to protect our streams.” The groups’ May 12 letter points out that the State Water Control Board unanimously approved two-years ago a motion directing DEQ staff to develop turbidity standards,” but the agency has yet to move toward adopting standards.

Danger continues for the endangered Candy Darter

The Candy Darter, a small fish found in mountain streams in Virginia and West Virginia, was added in 2018 to the list of endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and its critical habitat area was officially designated by FWS in April,

FERC asks VA DEQ for opinion on proposed MVP water crossings

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has asked the Virginia
Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) whether the proposed water crossings for
the Mountain Valley Pipeline would require certification under Section 401 of the Clean
Water Act (CWA).

ACP restoration: what happens next and by when?

Since the April 16 deadline for filing public comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the proposed route restoration for the cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the related Supply Header Project (SHP), ABRA has been in touch with officials at the agency to learn what the next steps are in the review of the proposed plan (click here the April 20 ABRA Update review of some of the comments filed).

Over 60 groups ask Biden Administration to suspend MVP permits

A letter has been sent to top officials in the Biden Administration by over 60 conservation groups asking for a review of permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in light of President Biden’s Executive Order #13990, “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” that was issued January 20,

Participants being sought for survey on pipeline impacts

Virginia Tech University and the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC-based think tank that has been involved in pipeline issues, are partnering on a survey to gather information about pipeline-affected residents’ experiences with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  The results of the survey will be used in a report submitted to FERC as part of the agency’s consideration of public input on its new Office of Public Participation. 

New study promotes gas pipelines to meet climate change goals

A new study released April 25 by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University argues in favor of natural gas pipelines making a positive contribution toward reducing climate change.

The study states:

The Biden administration’s move to bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement and lower greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change will,

Strong concerns voiced to FERC about ACP restoration plan

Comments filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about the proposed restoration plan for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) universally called for easements on property along the 604-mile route of the now cancelled project to be relinquished by Atlantic Coast Pipeline,