FERC orders construction halt at Atlantic Coast Pipeline

first_imgFERC orders construction halt at Atlantic Coast Pipeline FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享WV Public Broadcasting:Federal regulators halted all construction of the 604-mile, interstate Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) following a federal court’s ruling this week that invalidated two major federal permits. The Friday evening decision comes just a week after regulators issued a similar stop work order for another major interstate natural gas project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline.On Aug. 6, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the National Park Service (NPS) acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when it granted the ACP pipeline a right-of-way permit to cross under the Blue Ridge Parkway. The court also said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not do enough analysis to ensure the protections of five endangered or threatened species and vacated the pipeline’s “Incidental Take Permit.”In a letter to pipeline officials, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said without these permits, construction of the ACP could not continue.“In light of this development, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (Atlantic) has not obtained the rights-of-way and temporary use permits from the NPS needed for ACP to cross certain federally owned lands and lacks an Incidental Take Statement for the project,” the letter states.The move comes a week after FERC issued a stop work order for the 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline. In that case, the 4th Circuit invalidated two federal permits authorizing construction inside Jefferson National Forest because the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service did not conduct enough environmental analysis. FERC said until those approvals are re-issued, construction must stop.In the letter sent to ACP officials, the agency noted the Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service would most likely issue new permits, but FERC could not predict when that may happen. The ACP is a project of Dominion Energy. The $5.5 billion pipeline would transport natural gas from central West Virginia to the eastern portions of Virginia and North Carolina.More: Feds halt construction of Atlantic Coast Pipelinelast_img