ACP and MVP Pipeline Projects Under Regulatory Review

by Duane Nichols on October 18, 2017

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FERC Rubber Stamps Fracked Gas Pipelines Despite Widespread Concerns and Opposition

— Certificates for Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline Continue Dangerous Trend —

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), after recently regaining a quorum, granted federal approval for the fracked gas Atlantic Coast (ACP) and Mountain Valley (MVP) pipelines. Fracked gas is primarily composed of methane, a dangerous pollutant 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years in the atmosphere. Commissioner LaFleur notably dissented, saying the pipelines were not in the public interest.

Both the ACP and MVP would take fracked gas from West Virginia to southern Virginia, slicing through some of the most beautiful parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains and our national forests, with the ACP continuing into eastern North Carolina, crossing more than 1,000 waterways. If the pipeline receives the necessary state approvals, construction will pollute pristine streams and rivers, further threaten endangered species that are already on the brink, devastate forested wetlands and other valuable ecosystems, and threaten communities with the dangers of an explosion. The Sierra Club and a broad coalition of environmental and community groups plan to urge FERC to reconsider its decision.

Additional federal and state permits are required before construction can begin. North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia are each considering the potential water quality impacts of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and must grant Water Quality Certification (WQC) under section 401 of the Clean Water Act before construction may proceed. North Carolina has delayed its WCQ decision on the ACP and asked the pipeline developer for more specific information on how it will affect certain water crossings. Virginia has yet to issue WQC for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and Sierra Club’s lawsuit against West Virginia recently resulted in the state asking the Court to allow it to reconsider its certificate for the MVP. Several other federal reviews are still required, including a separate Endangered Species Act analysis, air permits, and local land use approvals for the fracked gas compressor stations and other facilities along the route.

Contact: Doug Jackson, (202) 495.3045 or


##### — Virginia Marine Resources Commission — #####

PUBLIC NOTICE — RE: Mountain Valley Pipeline, October 16, 2017

PUBLIC NOTICE: Notice is hereby given that Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC has requested authorization from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to install a natural gas pipeline beneath the bed of 18 streams and/or rivers with drainage areas greater than 5 square miles, which are considered to be State-owned subaqueous bottomlands of the Commonwealth along the designed pipeline corridor in Giles, Montgomery, Franklin and Pittsylvania Counties for the Mountain Valley Project (MVP).

Send comments/inquiries within 15 days to: Marine Resources Commission, Habitat Management Division, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607. (624374)


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ACP Stream Erosion October 26, 2017 at 4:55 pm

ACP builders submit new plans for erosion control in North Carolina

From T. C. Hunter, The Robesonian, Robeson County (NC), October 24, 2017

RALEIGH, NC — The permitting and public comment process means it will be late November or even December before the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s builders will know if they have state approval to move forward with their plans to build a 600-mile-long natural gas pipeline that begins in West Virginia and ends in Pembroke.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC submitted new erosion and sediment control plans for the proposed route for the North Carolina segment of the $5 billion pipeline on Monday, according to Bridget Munger, Public Information officer for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. When a project submits erosion and sediment control plans for a second time, the state Sedimentation Control Act requires DEQ to review and make a decision to either deny or approve the new plans within 15 days of receipt.

The previous plans were disapproved on Sept. 26 by officials with the DEQ’s Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources. A letter of disapproval was issued with requests for additional information.

Earlier this month, Munger described the letter and information request sent to pipeline partners Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company Gas as “not unusual.”

“The size and scope of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is so large that a lot of information is needed,” Munger said.

More permits also are needed.

Stormwater permits are needed for two sections of the pipeline, according to the DEQ. No applications had been submitted for these permits as of Oct. 10.

The state Division of Water Resources issued a letter on Sept. 14 directing the pipeline’s builders to submit additional information as part of their 401 water quality certification application. The company submitted its response to the request in two parts. The first part was submitted Sept. 22, and the second part was submitted Sept. 29. The division has until Nov. 28 to issue a decision on the application.

The state Division of Air Quality is taking public comments until Nov. 20 on the draft air permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC’s proposed air compressor station in Northampton County at the Virginia border. The DEQ will hold a public hearing on the draft permit at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 at Town Hall in Garysburg.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline received some good news on Oct. 13 when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the pipeline project. The approval was expected by pipeline supporters and opponents.

The ACP pipeline has been widely supported by business and political leaders who say the project will lower energy costs and boost economic development. Opponents, including environmental groups and landowners, say the pipeline will infringe on property rights, damage pristine areas and commit the region to fossil fuels just when global warming makes it essential to invest in renewable energy instead.

Commission approval means the pipeline developers will have the authority to use eminent domain to acquire land if they can’t reach an agreement with a landowner.

Supporters of the pipeline, which include the Robeson County Board of Commissioners, say it is needed for clean energy and also to attract industry that wants access to natural gas. The pipeline’s owners would pay property taxes on its infrastructure.

Aaron Ruby, a Dominion spokesman, is confident the pipeline will receive all necessary state and federal approvals by the end of the year.

“We’re approaching the finish line,” Ruby said earlier in the month.



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