Environment

Atlantic Coast Pipeline opponents demand federal regulators “rescind and revise” “inadequate” environmental report

Demonstrators protested against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Pembroke last fall. Citizens groups in Virginia today filed a motion with federal regulators demanding they rescind and revise a draft environmental impact statement on the 600-mile pipeline. (Photo: Lisa Sorg)

Three citizens groups opposed to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have filed a motion demanding that federal regulators rescind the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Only after substantial revisions, such as including significant pieces of missing information, should the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reissue the DEIS.

Friends of Nelson, Wild Virginia and Heartwood filed the motion with FERC today. The 1,000-page DEIS is “so inadequate as to preclude meaningful analysis,” the motion reads. The public comment period on the document is scheduled to end on April 6. The citizens groups ask for the clock to be reset: A new public comment period should be announced, but only after FERC revises the DEIS and includes the missing material.

FERC issued the DEIS on Dec. 30, 2016. Since then, Dominion Energy, which co-owns the project with Duke Energy, has submitted more than 100 new files to FERC, including key documents on wetlands, endangered species, maps and correspondence with state officials.

The draft enviro impact statement on the pipeline is “so inadequate as to preclude meaningful analysis Click To Tweet

FERC does allow people to subscribe for electronic updates to the DEIS. However, that does not account for people who do not have access to high-speed internet — necessary for downloading large file sizes — or internet at all.

The 600-mile natural gas pipeline would begin in West Virginia, run through Virginia and eight counties in eastern North Carolina: Northampton Halifax, Nash, Wilson Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland and Robeson. In Pembroke, the pipeline will join a Piedmont line and continue through Scotland and Richmond counties to the South Carolina border.

Opponents of the pipeline have been walking the North Carolina route since March 4. This weekend they will walk from Selma through Smithfield and on to Fayetteville. The walk ends on March 18. If you want to join, Clean Water for North Carolina has posted a daily route map. Follow them on Twitter: #2017acpwalk

 

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