The Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance has launched its new Conservation Hub, a program designed to enhance the capabilities of environmental, conservation and citizen groups to better assess the impacts of projects in the greater Allegheny-Blue Ridge region and to help assure that the overall environmental integrity of the region is maintained. The program will employ some of the same technological tools that formed the basis of the ABRA Compliance Surveillance Initiative (CSI) program that was developed to monitor construction activities of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).
Among the expected outcomes of the Conservation Hub program are:
Empowering stakeholders to make more informed decisions about proposed projects that impact the environment of their communities and the region.
Improving the quality and comprehensiveness of information presented to government regulatory bodies in helping their evaluation of proposed projects and, if such projects are approved, providing ongoing monitoring information to those agencies to assist their regulatory role.
Encouraging regulatory agencies, when evaluating whether to permit a project, to consider the cumulative impacts that the project would have on the affected region. It has been our collective experience from fighting the ACP project that state and federal permitting agencies are ill-equipped to evaluate the cumulative environmental impacts that projects can have.
Details on the Conservation Hub and its projects are available here on the ABRA website.
Southerly’s Lyndsey Gilpin speaks with organizers from West Virginia and North Carolina and a lawyer from the Southern Environmental Law Center about their successful efforts to stop the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. After years of fighting new oil and gas pipelines in rural areas, activists have scored major victories that cloud the future or eliminate several big projects. Three people who helped lead anti-pipeline campaigns talk about their work and what lies ahead.
The article, Pipeline opponents discuss lessons learned (in Southerly magazine), and video were produced in collaboration with Southerly and the Rural Assembly. The Rural Assembly is a project of the Center for Rural Strategies, which also publishes the Daily Yonder.
We are delighted to share the video of the Friends of Nelson online celebration of the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. We couldn’t celebrate in person, but on September 5, 2020, two months after Dominion’s announcement, we had a wonderful online party – with speakers, music, and slide shows – and we now offer the video of the party for your enjoyment. Many thanks to our party’s planning team, Mary Eiserman, Jill Averitt, and Joyce Burton, to Irene Leech for her video editing, and to Charlie Hickox for help with the video upload to YouTube.
And – hold the date! – we hope to have an in-person celebration on July 5, 2021, the first anniversary of the ACP cancellation.
In his August 10, 2020 article, Despite company claims, only a fraction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline is complete in Virginia, Jonathan Sokolow writes, “”While substantial work appears to have been done in West Virginia, according to MVP’s own numbers they barely have gotten started in Virginia. The truth is that in Virginia MVP is less than 15 percent complete. That’s 15.75 miles complete in Virginia out of a total of 108 miles. …. It turns out MVP is, to be generous, manipulating numbers to create a false impression. It would be like a contractor telling you your new house is ‘almost complete’ because ‘most’ of the wood framing is ‘done’ even though you have no electricity, no water, no roof, no walls, no floors – and the contractor is missing multiple permits to do that work because they got sued in federal court – and lost.”
On September 2, 2020, a Virginia Mercury article points out that Despite rosy projections, all is not well with the Mountain Valley Pipeline. “Following the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline have not been shy about talking up their own project in the Appalachian region. However, behind the rosy pronouncements of late, all is far from well with the MVP. …. MVP has requested the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission grant an extension of its construction timeline until Oct. 13, 2022. The reality is that MVP is over two years behind schedule and $2 billion over budget. Given federal permit suspensions, a nearly year-long — and counting — project-wide Stop Work order, ongoing legal challenges and ballooning financial woes, MVP cannot forecast when, or if, the project will be finished.”
From Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s ABRA Update #290, August 27, 2020
The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for an extension of time of “an additional two years, or until October 13, 2022, to complete construction of the Project and place the Project facilities into service.” FERC issued on August 27 an official notice of a comment period for the public to have input on the MVP request, the deadline for which is Friday, September 11, 2020.
You are strongly urged to file comments with FERC by 5 pm, Friday, September 11 in opposition to the extension of the certificate for the MVP. Regarding filing comments, the FERC Notice states: The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “e-File” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically may mail similar pleadings to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426. Hand delivered submissions in docketed proceedings should be delivered to Health and Human Services, 12225 Wilkins Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20852.