The Southern Environmental Law Center has appealed a FERC decision to deny access to detailed route maps for the proposed ACP. The appeal also objects to arguments made by Dominion against providing even restricted access to the maps.
This is a critical issue, and it is emblematic of our overall problem with Dominion, FERC, and other state and federal regulatory agencies.
Our efforts to minimize the impact of the proposed ACP will depend on access to detailed information that will allow us to evaluate risks and work for regulatory compliance. We must have high-resolution maps if we are to provide informed analysis to FERC on environmental issues, including the location of the proposed pipeline in relation to sensitive landscapes, water supplies, streams, and wildlife.
Dominion has complained that opponents of the ACP seek to “overrun a well-tested, open, transparent, and effective regulatory model – a place where opposing views have an appropriate role and a strong voice.” In full-page ads, Dominion informs us that planning for the ACP involves some of the “most stringent regulatory oversight” and that “openness is a critical part of this effort.”
Dominion’s cynical game plan includes a very expensive public relations campaign on one hand, while seeking to avoid real transparency and public accountability on the other. Dominion does not want us to have access to detailed route maps, it does not want us to have access to detailed erosion and sediment control plans, and it does not want us to have access to detailed stormwater management plans.
Restating the obvious:
Although environmental protection is a public-relations priority for the pipeline industry, it is clearly not a priority in practice.
We are dealing with a project of unprecedented scale and geographic scope that will impact some our most sensitive and highly valued natural resources. Our fight now is about access to the kind of critical information that is required for any other construction project.