Wild Virginia: George Washington National Forest weighs In on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

wild vaOn July 30, Tom Speaks, Forest Supervisor of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, submitted a report to Kimberly Bose, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to  “identify information and data requirements necessary for the assessment of project effects on National Forest System Lands” from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).”

The letter includes a 57-page document that points out numerous deficiencies, errors, and inconsistencies in documents submitted to FERC by Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC.  It also enumerates the range of potential effects that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could have on the George Washington and Monongahela National Forest, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The document contains 335 different requests for information, including stipulations that Dominion complete required analyses on impacts to waters, plants, animals and users of the forest.  Most importantly the report states that “ACP’s discussion should clearly articulate why the project cannot reasonably be accommodated off National Forest Service (NSF) lands.  This discussion should not cite lower costs or less restrictive locations as the sole purpose of crossing NSF lands.”

“The GWNF staff has done an excellent job detailing the many problems posed by ACP’s proposal.  Cutting a 125-foot scar across steep mountains and through Virginia’s precious national forests to install and operate a 42” natural gas pipeline clearly threatens the integrity of these resources,” said David Sligh, the Conservation Director of Wild Virginia.  “The Forest Service officials are taking their responsibity as stewards of our public lands seriously, by requiring Dominion to analyze all the threats the ACP poses to our most valued resources. They have given us 335 reasons why this pipeline should not be built.”

Wild Virginia is a conservation organization dedicated to protecting the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

Dominion plans to submit their formal filing with FERC early this fall.

The document is available on the FERC website at http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20150730-5223

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