ACP reauthorized by FERC

Published 3:09 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) has been placed back in operation in North Carolina and West Virginia, according to a decision made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Monday.

According to a report from The Richmond Times-Dispatch, FERC lifted the stop work order after The National Park Service reissued a right-of-way permit to cross beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway between Augusta and Nelson counties. The Times-Dispatch report also cited that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a new biological opinion that affirmed the project would not jeopardize the existence of more than half a dozen endangered or threatened species in its path.The decision to lift the ban would only apply to work taking place on the pipeline in North Carolina and West Virginia, the Times-Dispatch reported, as the state water quality permit in Virginia depends on approval of erosion and sediment control plans that remain under regulatory review.

In a statement by Dominion Energy Monday, a principal partner with ACP, Aaron Ruby said the company is reassured by the decision by FERC.

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“We are pleased to get back to work on this very important public infrastructure project,” Ruby said. “With FERC’s approval today, we are mobilizing our crews immediately to resume construction as authorized. We are closely monitoring weather conditions across the project footprint and will of course only resume work in areas where it is safe to do so and where weather conditions permit.”

Ruby commended the Fish & Wildlife Service and National Park Service for addressing the issues raised by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and FERC’s Stop Work Order.

“The agencies have reaffirmed that the project does not threaten any federally protected species and is consistent with the public use of the Blue Ridge Parkway,” Ruby said.

“Public utilities in Virginia and North Carolina are depending on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to meet the growing energy needs of consumers and businesses,” Ruby said, who also claimed the ACP has been the most thoroughly reviewed infrastructure project in the history of the region. “The project remains on track for completion by the end of next year, which will allow public utilities to meet growing demand for cleaner electricity, residential home heating and power for local businesses.”