The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement, to inform decisions by regulatory and land management agencies concerning the ACP. The Forest Service will use information provided in the EIS when deciding whether to revise management plans to accommodate a new utility corridor and the related access roads and staging areas that will be required by the ACP.
Yet Dominion has asked for accelerated review, and FERC has announced that a draft EIS will be released by the end of 2016. This is unacceptable. A fast-tracked EIS will not provide the information and time needed for objective decision making. The information currently available for use in EIS preparation is incomplete and inconsistent.
Dominion proposes to provide critical environmental plans after project approval, rather than during EIS preparation. It argues that pipeline construction will not alter runoff properties and thus stormwater management plans are not needed. It intends to seek a variance from limits to the length of open-trench segments during construction, thus creating extreme runoff problems on steep mountainsides. It intends to proceed with wintertime construction despite time-of-year restrictions intended to protect brook trout and other sensitive species. And it has failed to properly conduct or report studies on significant environmental issues.
For more information, see the latest in the DPMC Story Map Series: ACP and Our National Forests.