ALERT: Comments to FERC on Extension of ACP Certificate Are Due July 2

ABRA members are urged to file comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in response to the request from Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc. that the certificate to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), which is due to expire on October 13,

New Biological Assessment Filed With FERC, But Not Made Public

Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc. filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on June 22 a new Biological Assessment (BA) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), but designated the information as “privileged and confidential” and thus not available to the public.

Forest Service Cautioned Against Relying on FERC’s EIS for the ACP

The U.S. Forest Service has been cautioned that it should not depend upon the reliability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) developed in 2017 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as the agency develops a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the project. 

Supreme Court Oks ACP to Cross Appalachian Trail in Cowpasture Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 7-2 decision on June 15, overturned a decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) did not have authority to grant a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Trail).

ACP Requests FERC to Extend its Certificate for Two More Years

Dominion Energy submitted a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory (FERC) for a two-year extension of time for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to be completed.  The certificate that FERC issued for the project on October 13, 2017 expires on October 13 of this year. 

Ag Secretary Perdue Orders Regulatory Streamlining of National Forests

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced a major streamlining of regulatory processes under the management of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).  In a June 12 memorandum to the Chief of the Forest Service Perdue directed that the USFS increase the productivity of National Forests and Grasslands,

New Report Documents Impact of Pipelines Crossing Streams and Rivers

West Virginia Rivers Coalition and Trout Unlimited have released a new report discussing the impact pipeline construction has on rivers and streams. Reducing Impacts of Pipelines Crossing Rivers and Streams notes that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline routes include over 2,600 waterbody crossings in West Virginia,

Natural Gas Demand to be Down by Record Levels in 2020

A new report from the International Energy Agency (EIA) forecasts that “global natural gas consumption is heading for an estimated 4% drop in 2020.”  Among highlights in the report, Gas 2020, are:

  • In the United States output of gas-fired power generation reached new highs in 2019,

New Study Says Landslides Are a Serious Threat to the ACP

The routes of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), as well as the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), pass through the most landslide-prone landscape in the United States, according to a new study released June 11 by the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA).

Forest Service Announces Supplemental EIS Process for ACP

Development of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) was announced June 11 by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).  The Notice of Intent, published in the Federal Register, is in response to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals action of December 13,

Updated Information!

The June 4 issue of ABRA Update (#279) featured the photos below of pipe storage yards for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline near Bealeton, VA (l) and Culpeper, VA (r).  The photo caption said the pipe had been stored at the locations for over 18 months. 

FERC Is Asked to Conduct Supplemental EIS for ACP

A coalition environmental and conservation organizations, most of them ABRA members, filed a motion on May 30 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting that the Commission supplement the Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to address significant new information bearing on the project’s environmental impacts. 

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

Pipe for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is shown in storage yards near Bealeton, VA (left, south of Warrenton) and near Culpeper, VA (r).  The pipe in both locations has been stored for over 18-months. And counting.

(Photo credit: Ben Cunningham,

President to Sign Order to Waive Environmental Reviews for Pipelines

The Washington Post has reported that President Trump was to sign on June 4 an Executive Order invoking a federal law where emergency circumstances make it necessary to take an action with significant environmental impact without observing normal requirements imposed by laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Protection Act. 

EPA Issues Final Rule Limiting State Authority Under Clean Water Act

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued on June 1 its final rule amending Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, under which states are given authority to issue permits certifying that any discharges into the state’s waters from a proposed project will comply with Clean Water Act,

Webinar on Environmental Justice Scheduled for June 17

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is sponsoring a webinar on environmental justice on Wednesday, June 17, from 6-8 pm.  The event is being conducted by Skeo Solutions, with which DEQ has contracted to assist it in seeking public input on how the agency can advance environmental justice concepts through its programs. 

Reinstatement of Army Corps’ NWP 12 Authority Denied by Appeals Court

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied on May 28  a request of the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the owner of the Keystone XL Pipeline to reinstate the Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP12) authority of the Corps.  A federal district court in Montana had ruled on April 15 that the Corps had violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in issuing the current NWP12 and revoked the Corps’ authority to issue any new permits for pipeline projects to cross streams and rivers. 

Six Years and Counting . . .

It was six-years ago this week that Dominion Energy began contacting local officials in Virginia and West Virginia to advise them of the company’s plans to build a natural gas pipeline through their communities.  Initially called the Southeast Reliability Project,

Additional Public Hearing Scheduled for Header Improvement Project

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) announced May 27 that additional public testimony on Virginia Natural Gas’s proposed Header Improvement Project (HIP) will be received on June 8 at a virtual hearing, webcast by the SCC. The deadline for filing written comments is also extended to June 8,

ARTivism Virginia Holding Concerts and Workshops on Thursdays

ARTivism Virginia, an initiative to connect artists and activists in Virginia in the fight for environmental justice, is conducting a series of online concerts and workshops on Thursday through the end of June.

The Sun Sing in Place concert Series,

Appeals Court Urged to Keep Freeze on Army Corps’ NWP 12 for Pipelines

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has been urged to uphold a Federal District Court in Montana’s ruling prohibiting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP12) program from issuing new permits for oil and natural gas pipelines.

Trump Calls for Reducing Regulations to Aide Economic Recovery

President Trump issued an Executive Order on May 19 to reduce regulatory requirements to support businesses in recovering from the economic downturn brought on by COVID-19.  The Order states that:

Agencies should address this economic emergency by rescinding,

Comment Period Extended for Header Improvement Project

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) has extended the comment period for the proposed Header Improvement Project (HIP), a proposal by Virginia Natural Gas for a pipeline expansion to serve a new power plant in Charles City, VA.  The SCC held a May 12 webcasts hearing and has indicated an additional hearing will be scheduled,

The Future of LNG Exports Increasingly Looks Shaky

A recently released analysis of the future financial prospects for liquified natural gas (LNG) strongly suggests that markets are imploding.  The LNG issue becomes relevant for those concerned about efforts to build new, unneeded natural gas pipelines because of excessive natural gas supplies and reduced domestic demand.

New Study: Solar and Wind Puts Existing Coal, Gas at Risk

Solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind are now the cheapest sources of new energy generation sources for at least two-thirds of the global population., according to a new analysis by BloombergNEF (BNEF).    The BNEF analysis “shows that the global benchmark levelized cost of electricity,

ACP Construction Yard in Goshen Approved by County Planning Commission

The Rockbridge County, VA Planning Commission approved on May 13 a site plan for a proposed construction storage yard for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) in Goshen, VA.  The 4-0 vote (with one abstention) came despite 95 of the 99 written comments received by the Commission expressing opposition to the yard plan. 

ACP Responds to Buckingham Compressor Station Court Decision

Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC  (ACP, LLC) has finally submitted a response to the January 7 decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the Buckingham compressor station.  ACP, LLC made recently two supplemental information submissions to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ),

Army Corps Appeals Court Decision Vacating NWP12 Program

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers filed on May 13 an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the Montana U.S. District Court of the decision that vacated the authority of the Corps to issue new stream crossing permits under the Corps’ Nationwide 12 program. 

FERC Rejects State AGs Plea for Project Moratorium During COVID-19 Crisis

A May 7 request by attorneys general of 10 states and the District of Columbia for a moratorium on approvals of all new and pending natural gas pipelines, LNG facilities and related fossil-fuel infrastructure projects during the COVID-19 pandemic has been summarily rejected by the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

New EPA Navigable Waters Rule Challenged in Court

A group of conservation organizations on April 29 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of South Carolina, Charleston District, challenging the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which was published as a final rule on April 21.