The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced that it will complete an environmental impact study (EIS) of the proposed Atlantic Coast pipeline project and is seeking public comments to assist its staff to determine what environmental issues need to be evaluated. The environmental impacts of the project will be considered in the Commission’s decision-making process to determine whether the proposed pipeline is in the public convenience and necessity.
Comments can be submitted electronically, by mail, or verbally during a public meeting. However comments are submitted, they should include the Atlantic Coast pipeline docket number, PF15-6-000.
FERC encourages electronic filing of comments and has staff members available to assist at (202) 502-8258. Two methods are available to submit comments electronically at the FERC website at www.ferc.gov.
Comments can be filed using the eComment feature under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project.
Comments also can be filed using the eFiling feature located under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, comments can be sent as a file attachment. The feature supports a wide range of file attachment formats. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on ‘eRegister.’ You must select the type of filing you are making. Select ‘Comment on a Filing’ to submit a comment on the Atlantic Coast pipeline EIS.
Comments also can be submitted by mail to Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. Comments must be mailed in time to be received at the FERC office no later than April 28.
Persons wishing to submit comments verbally can attend a meeting in Elkins on March 23. FERC will conduct a scoping meeting at Elkins High School on Monday, March 23, at 7 p.m. The purpose of the scoping meeting is to provide an opportunity to verbally comment on the project. If a large number of people wish to comment, a three-to-five minute time limit for each speaker will be imposed and strictly enforced. The high school is located at 100 Kennedy Drive.
Comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific the comments, the more useful they will be to FERC.
Several environmental advocacy groups, including the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition, have requested that FERC delay the end of the comment period beyond April 28, because of changing information from Dominion Resources, Inc., on alternate pipeline routes.
Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle issued a statement on Tuesday which reads: “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is halfway through its initial 10 scoping meetings as part of its National Environmental Policy Act review of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. At each meeting, more stood up and told the FERC representatives of their support for the pipeline than those in opposition to it.”
“The natural gas transported safely by this project will be used primarily to generate electricity for the consumers in Virginia and North Carolina as well as to heat homes and run local businesses,” Norvelle added.