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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Information Page

Lots of news and information at the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance and Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition

August 2017

What Can I Do?

Want to have an impact on the Dominion Atlantic Coast Pipeline planned through the headwaters of the Maury River? Here are some suggestions. Send more ideas to Barbara if you have them and we'll post them.

  1. Reduce your energy footprint
    1. Install solar power for your home as offered by these nonprofits (VASun and Leap-VA)
    2. Buy renewable energy certificates from out of state (read about that here, and also why Dominion's Green Energy program isn't green)
    3. Install a solar hot water heater.
    4. Put up a residential/business windmill.
    5. Conserve energy in your home, vehicle, and daily life.  Find ideas here
  2. Submit comments
    1. To the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) about their draft 401 Certification (under the Clean Water Act)
      1. DEQ Information here on their process and how to comment by mail or email.
      2. Deadline August 22
      3. Or attend DEQ ACP public meetings (details here) (other meetings are also planned for the Mountain Valley Pipline). Closest one is Aug 7 at JMU (CCAN announcment).
      4. What should you say?
        1. Read this comprehensive letter by David Sligh of Wild Virginia/DPMC
        2. And this letter by Creigh Deeds
        3. See the sample letter at Appalachian Voices
        4. Pointers from Wild Virginia
        5. legal basis for for the CWA 401 Reviews
        6. namely
          1. Don't rely on the Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12
          2. Get site specific erosion control plans before 401 certification
          3. demand no adverse impact, not limited impact on headwater streams in western Virginia (our headwaters). The ACP will cross hundreds of waterways and steep slopes in Virginia. Dominion plans to simply dig across many streams without diverting flow. Details are provided the the FERC Environmental Impact Statement and Appendices (avialable in paper at the RACC office).
    2. Also to the DEQ about the Pipeline Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management Plan Review (DEQ website)
      1. Deadline October 13, 2017
      2. What should you say.
        1. These comments should be about the site-specific standards posted at the DEQ as wells as the plans for individual slopes and waterways posted at the Domininon "DEQ filings" website (see the "spreads" for maps of the route and planned erosion and sedimentation control measures).
        2. We hope to have some digested, informed comments for you here soon......
    3. To the US Forest Service on the "Draft Decision to Permit" the pipeline.
      1. If you commented to FERC during the EIS comment period, you are eligible to "object" during the comment period
      2. Deadline: September 5.
      3. What can you say
        1. Coming soon. See this announcement at ABRA
  3. Pray or protest
    1. Here is a flyer about a 3-day prayer/protest organized by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    2. more events are planned.... coming soon
  4. Donate (again) to your favorite pipeline fighting organization
    1. Rockbridge Area Conservation Council (RACC)
    2. Allegheny Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA)
    3. Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC)
    4. Wild Virginia
    5. Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition (DPMC)
    6. . ….and more.


July 2017

FERC staff releases Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. In short, the EIS denies significant environmental impacts...
" .....Implementation of Atlantic and DETI’s respective impact avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures, as well as their adherence to staff’s recommendations in the EIS would further avoid, minimize, and mitigate these impacts. Most, but not all of these impacts, would be reduced to less-than-significant levels."
See the ABRAlliance Press Release about the release of the EIS.

The US Forest Service issued a draft decision to permit the pipeline for 21 miles crossing federal land. Comments/objections guidelines posed; due Sept 5 for those who made comment during FERC process.

As part of their water quality protection measures for pipelines, Virginia DEQ issues a draft 401 certification for the ACP, with public comments due August 22. More information and links at the DEQ website.

Virginia DEQ Pipeline Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management Plan Review in place and the $2.2 million contract awarded to a company with ties to Dominion. DEQ will consider input on the technical and engineering requirements of the ESC and SWM plans for each site-specific stormwater manaagement plan (apparently at the ACP website), are due October 13.

Think natural gas is better than coal? These pipelines may be be a greenhouse gas nightmare

Is FERC a pipeline facilitator or regulator? A new study of the boom in pipeline projects and proposals by Center for Public Integrity as featured in a story aired NPR on July 17, 2017

pipelines in the Appalachians

Foxes guarding the hen house: revolving door between FERC & energy companies.

June 2017

New Atlantic Coast Pipeline Video - The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has just released the first in a series of short video clips profiling the impacts of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCTB_4y92SE.  The Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance recommends this excellent video (under 4 minutes long).  Please distribute it far and wide, via social media, email, smoke signals, etc.  Excellent work and congrats to the Southern Environmental Law Center.  Other clips in the series will be announced as they are released.  For more information, please contact ABRA at  www.abralliance.org .

‘Walking the Line’ Set for June 17 to July 4

A celebratory walk along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route in Virginia is planned to commence on June 17 in Highland County and conclude July 2 in Buckingham County at the site of the proposed compressor station.  A second leg of the walk will continue July 3 and 4 to the Virginia-North Carolina state line.


March 2017

  • FERC posted a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the ACP. Comments are due April 6th.
    • FERC information about the DEIS and links to the documents
    • ABRA Alliance summary of the DEIS including how you can comment.
    • Some examples of deficiencies in the DEIS (from a Wild Virginia press release)
      • The core issue of whether the massive project is needed to meet electricity
        demand, and whether alternatives including energy efficiency, solar and wind
        would be more environmentally responsible sources;
      • A complete analysis of the cumulative, life-cycle climate pollution that would
        result from the pipeline;
      • A full accounting of the negative economic consequences to communities,
        including decreased property values, loss of tourism revenue and other factors;
      • Any accounting of other environmental and human health damage from the
        increased gas fracking in West Virginia that would supply the pipeline; and
      • Thorough, site-specific analysis of damage to water quality and natural resources throughout the pipeline route.
    • A pipeline movie, Q&A, and letter writing night is planned for the end of March.. Stay tuned for details.

July 2016

  • March on the Virginia Governor's Mansion - This video, by the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition, shows the power and energy of 600 citizens marching July 23rd to demand that Governor McAuliffe finally put people over polluters.

May 16, 2016

  • Friends of Wintergreen report the results of a consultant study of a proposed alternative route.
  • In their comments to FERC, they ask that this new alternative be studied
  • The proposed route follows Dominion Electrical transmission right of way through the Game and Inland Fisheries land south of Goshen Pass, across the Maury River, and then up a private corridor near route 56.
  • The new route crosses exceedingly steep terrain where Dominion power lines have spans of nearly a mile over high-relief valleys.
  • View larger map
  • It is uncertain whether FERC or Dominion will consider this route.

June 2, 2016 RACC comments on the alternative route

March 11, 2016. The Jefferson National Forest responds to the Mountain Valley Pipeline resource reports with a 32-page list of deficiences. Many of these same conditions and requests would apply to the ACP. Read their letter at FERC repository.

February 12, 2016. ACP announced a new alternative route through neighboring Highland, Bath, Augusta, and Nelson counties. This route does not enter Rockbridge County, but does propose a greater distance of disturbance through the Maury River headwaters.
--Below is a web map of pipeline and watersheds (loads here--be patient). It is based on the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition environmental mapping system.

View in a new window

Information about that new route is found below.

February 16, 2016 - "Dominion's ACP: Costs vastly outweigh benefits study shows" ABRA commissioned economic study suggests that impacted counties will bear a great financial burden for the pipeline.

February 11, 2016 - - The two bills related to the pipeline (repeal of right of natural gas companies to enter property without permission, and improved erosion and sedimentation protection) were both defeated in committee during the 2016 legislative session. link (scroll down to 2nd page).
More information about votes will be posted here soon.

February 2016 VA Sierra Club study shows net gain in greenhouse gas emissions if two proposed pipelines are built ---Press Release - Report - Sierra Club page

This is not a simple issue. Inform yourself by reading material from some of the organizations leading the way.

pipeline trench across our mountains
12 inch pipeline case study from the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition


February 9, 2016 Could the Atlantic Coast Pipeline move south to Rockbridge?

On January 19th, the US Forest Service rejected the current route of Dominion's ACP because of dangers to animals and ecosystems of Cheat Mountain, WV, and Shenandoah Mountain, VA, and for failure to follow Federal guidelines.
Develop and evaluate system and/or route alternatives that avoid Cheat Mountain and Back Allegheny Mountain on the Monongahela National Forest (MNF) and Shenandoah Mountain on the George Washington National Forest (GWNF).”

FERC told Dominion's ACP the same thing on December 9th, 2015
"...we have determined that alternative routes to the south of the currently proposed ACP route may offer environmental advantages over the currently proposed route"
(full text)

Where would that "southern alternative" be? Here is one from Dominion itself, which is cited by FERC in its December 9 letter.
pdf version

Last year, the Augusta County Alliance suggested in a meeting with FERC officials that a southern route, and one that colocates with utilities is prefereable to the current route through Augusta County.

FERC's comments in December were remarkably similar.

What can you do? Volunteer with RACC to help process information, raise funds, make contacts, and disseminate information to agencies, citizens, decision makers and legislators. The information about resources and livelihoods at risk filed with FERC prior to the permitting is necessary to ensure that the agency does its duty.



Proposed Pipeline in Maury Watershed

Dominion Gas has proposed a pipeline to cross through the headwaters of the Maury River in Augusta County, upstream of Lexington’s water supply. Click image for full map.

For more information, please see some of the following