FERC seeks comments on Atlantic Coast Pipeline route alternatives

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is seeking comments from landowners who potentially might be affected by newly identified routes for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline about possible environmental impacts. It also sent the Aug. 5 notice to federal, state, and local government agencies; Indian tribes; environmental and other public interest groups; and other stakeholders.

Comments will be accepted through Sept. 4. “We encourage elected officials and government representatives to notify their constituents about the ACP Project and inform them on how they can comment on their areas of concern,” FERC said.

Sponsors of the proposed 550-mile, 1.5-bcfd interstate natural gas transmission pipeline across three states identified several alternate route segments in Augusta and Nelson counties, Va., in May as potentially having the least impact to environmental, historic, and cultural resources (OGJ Online, May 19, 2015).

FERC’s staff will prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed pipeline based in part on comments which are received, the notice said. The commission will use information from the EIS to help determine whether the project is necessary and in the public convenience, it said.

FERC told landowners that an ACP representative may have contacted them already if their property would be affected by one of the new route segments under consideration. “An Atlantic representative may have also contacted you or may contact you in the near future about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the planned facilities, or request permission to perform environmental surveys on your property,” it said.

Some landowners may not be contacted if the alternative across their property is found to be either not feasible or not environmentally preferable to other alternatives being considered, the notice continued.

“If the Commission approves the ACP Project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain,” it said. “Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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