Author Archives: Ellen Bouton

SELC Will Argue Before Supreme Court

A brief video from Southern Environmental Law Center: The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a damaging, unnecessary project, has lost 8 required permits and is already obsolete. SELC and our clients will be before the Supreme Court of the United States in a case about the pipeline’s proposed Appalachian Trail crossing on protected federal lands at 10 a.m. on Monday February 24, 2020.

Video: This Land Is My Land

A year ago Sebastian Mlynarski and two others from NY came and interviewed property rights activists and Atlantic Coast Pipeline opponents — Richard Averitt, the Limberts and Union Hill residents among others — about the injustice to landowners on the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Click here for the 6 minute video, This Land Is My Land, directed by Sebastian Mlynarski and Rachel Fleit, who hope to produce a feature-length documentary.

DEQ Launches Environmental Justice Study

From Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s ABRA Update #264, February 20, 2020

An effort to develop recommendations for incorporation of environmental justice principles into the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) programs and actions, announced last September by the agency, will soon begin interviewing environmental justice stakeholders, non-government organizations, local government officials and others in coming weeks. The February 19, 2020 announcement of the forthcoming interviews comes in the wake of the recent decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the air permit for the Buckingham County compressor station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for reasons that included the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board’s failure to properly consider the environmental justice impacts of the project.

Click here for a copy of the DEQ’s announcement.

News You May Have Missed

There’s been a lot going on – here are some news items from our In the News page you may have missed (many additional interesting news articles on that page).

Following the Cowpasture Case in the Supreme Court

The arguments in the case of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Forest Service vs the Cowpasture River Preservation et al, in which the ACP is appealing the Fourth Circuit Court’s vacating of the Forest Service’s permit for the ACP to cross the Appalachian Trail, will be heard at the Supreme Court beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday February 24, 2020. One hour has been allotted for the hearing, with another case to follow promptly at 11 a.m.

The U.S. Forest Service and Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC are the appellants in the case. The respondents are Cowpasture River Preservation Association, Highlanders for Responsible Development, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Association, Shenandoah Valley Network, Sierra Club, Virginia Wilderness Committee and Wild Virginia.

All briefs that have been filed in the case are available here.

For additional background and commentary on the case, see the February 18 SCOTUSblog post here.

Information from SELC and their news feed is here.

Although there is no way to remotely stream oral arguments at the Supreme Court in real time, the transcript of the oral argument will be available in the afternoon on February 24. On Friday February 28, the audio recording of the argument will be published.

Anyone wishing to attend the argument in person should consult instructions on the Supreme Court website. Note that space in the courtroom is limited and there is no guarantee that all who wish to attend will be seated, so arrive very early if you hope to attend. The Supreme Court is at 1 First St., SE, Washington, DC, located 0.3 miles from the Capital South Metro Station. The closest parking garage is at Union Station, located 0.5 miles from the Court.


Dominion’s ACP Costs Still Rising

Dominion’s original cost estimate for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was $4.5-5 billion, and the original in-service date was late 2018.

Costs are up: according to S&P Global, “The 600-mile pipeline, which would run through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, moving Appalachian Basin gas to Mid-Atlantic markets, is now expected to cost approximately $8 billion, slightly above the high end of Dominion’s previous guidance range of $7.3 billion to $7.8 billion.”  That’s a little under double the original cost estimate.

Seeking Alpha tells us that Dominion has “so far spent $3.4 billion on Atlantic Coast Pipeline.” That is well over half of what the original total cost estimate was for the ACP, with nothing yet in the ground.