News | May 17, 2018

FERC weighs whether Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction can continue

In the latest development around the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a letter from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given the pipeline developers five days to provide more information. This move is in response to a federal appeals court ruling, issued this week, invalidating one of the pipeline’s permits. The permit in question, issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, dictates how the project impacts endangered species. FERC has asked pipeline developers to indicate, by milepost, where along the route construction will stop because it is impacted by the Fish and Wildlife Service permit.

Meanwhile Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, the largest utilities backing the pipeline, have continued to assure investors that construction will move forward as planned. We believe that construction cannot continue without a valid permit.

According to the Federal Regulatory Commission’s own certificate, FERC’s previous notices issued to Atlantic Coast Pipeline developers to proceed are no longer valid,” said Senior Attorney D.J. Gerken. “If what FERC is now saying is that developers can proceed to construction without the Fish and Wildlife Service’s valid permit, it is undermining its own requirements.

SELC sent a letter to FERC earlier this week outlining the impact of an invalid permit on pipeline construction and requesting it fulfill its obligations to stop further construction until its resolved.