“Today’s draft report is another major step forward for a project that is vital to bringing new jobs, cleaner air and energy security to our region. The draft report represents a very significant milestone in the federal review process and brings us one step closer to making this important project a reality. While we have to review the draft further, we believe it confirms that the project can be built in an environmentally responsible way that protects the public safety and natural resources of our region.
Among other findings, the draft report confirms that the measures proposed by Atlantic Coast Pipeline significantly reduces and mitigates the environmental impacts of the project. Additionally, the draft report reinforces previous findings by the FERC and decades of research demonstrating that natural gas pipelines do not adversely impact tourist economies or residential property values while providing a boost to economic development.
This report is the culmination of more than two years of exhaustive study and meaningful engagement with communities along the proposed route. The report draws on nearly 100,000 pages of reports and documentation submitted by Atlantic Coast Pipeline, as well as more than 35,000 public comments submitted by landowners, agencies and other interested parties to the project docket on the FERC website. By any measure, this has and will continue to be a thorough process. It has afforded numerous opportunities for the public to help shape the project and ensure that it is developed in an environmentally responsible manner.
We have worked constructively with landowners and agencies to address the important environmental issues that have been raised. As the draft report demonstrates, we’ve taken meaningful steps to avoid or minimize impacts and incorporate public input in many important areas of the project. Based on public input and our interactions with landowners, we’ve made more than 300 route adjustments and completed more than 250 miles of reroutes to avoid environmentally sensitive areas and many other features of individual properties. The project has improved and strengthened as a result of this constructive process.
With the release of the draft report, the FERC has announced additional opportunities for the public and agencies to stay engaged in the process and continue providing meaningful input on the project.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline remains critically important to meeting the growing energy needs of public utilities in Virginia and North Carolina. It is essential to promoting economic development across the region, lowering carbon emissions and continuing the transition to a cleaner energy future. Today’s draft environmental report moves us one step closer to building a stronger economy and a cleaner environment for the future of our region.”
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is available for download on the FERC website: