Category Archives: DEIS

DEIS: What Is It? What’s In It? What You Can Do!

The Allegheny–Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) has created an excellent overview of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP):  DEIS:  What Is It?  What’s In It?  What You Can Do!  In just 16 pages (compared to the 2300+ pages in the DEIS!), the overview explains the DEIS’s purpose, main points, and major conclusions, providing the most relevant highlights and quotations for concerned citizens who want to understand more about the DEIS.  The document also explains how to make comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in writing or at an upcoming public hearing. 

You can download the ABRA’s overview of the DEIS at their Web site by clicking here.  For more information about submitting a comment to FERC in response to the DEIS, please visit our FERC page (see the section titled “How to Comment on the DEIS”) and/or our Submit Comments and Write Personal Letters page

Tell FERC: Reject the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) has created an easy-to-use online comment form, Tell FERC: No Atlantic Coast Pipeline, that allows you to send a comment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) about the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the ACP.  The form provides a pre-written letter to FERC that details the many failings of the DEIS; you can edit this letter or add your own comments about the DEIS and how the pipeline would impact you. 

Remember you can submit as many comments as you like to FERC during comment periods.  Friends of Nelson strongly encourages you to write and submit your own comments to FERC, but you can and should use tools like this form provided by CCAN to submit more comments.  They make the process of submitting comments to FERC easy and quick, so that it’s easy to submit more comments.  The more comments submitted in opposition to the ACP, the better. 

Need Help Crafting Your Public Comment to FERC? Friends of Nelson Can Help

If you are planning or want to attend the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Public Hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Lovingston on Wednesday, February 22nd, but aren’t sure what to say during your three-minute speaking allotment, Friends of Nelson can help.  From 6:00 pm on, Friends of Nelson will be available in the Nelson County Middle School library (right next door to the high school, where FERC’s hearing will be held) for help and support.  Come gather with us and share information, prepare comments, and wait for your number to be called by FERC for the public comment session. 

FERC Hearing in Nelson, February 22, 2017


The FERC hearing in Nelson on the DEIS will be Wednesday February 22, 2017. Be there!

This is our chance to speak up in opposition about the seriously flawed and unacceptably inadequate Draft Environmental Impact Statement. We need as many people as possible to attend – flooding FERC – showing and voicing our disapproval and aversion towards this grossly unnecessary and dangerous pipeline.

Come early to sign up for a number to speak! Comments will NOT be taken in public. Speakers’ comments will be taken in a private room with a stenographer. (This is FERC’s idea of a “public hearing.”) It is therefore crucially important that everyone who gives comments brings a paper copy to give to the stenographer and that everyone ALSO submits their comments to FERC – online or via USPS – so that there is an irrefutable paper trail.

See our Events page for details on other FERC hearings in our area:  Farmville on February 21, Staunton on February 23, and Monterey on February 28.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not needed, and we don’t want this 42″, 600-mile fracked gas pipeline. We want clean water, healthy air, our precious lands to stay intact, and a safe future.

No Significant Concerns?

In 2005, state and federal regulators dismissed warnings from environmental groups and local officials about the risk of catastrophic flooding below a major Northern California dam. Instead, the regulators at the time said they were confident that the hillside at the Oroville Dam that helps hold back hundreds of billions of gallons of water was stable and did not need to be reinforced with concrete. FERC, the agency that oversees the dam’s re-licensing and received the request for armoring, agreed that paving was not needed. State water resources department officials wrote in a final environmental impact report dated June 2008 that no “significant concerns” about the hillside’s stability had been raised in any government or independent review.

In FERC’s DEIS for the ACP, they also say they see no significant concerns. Hmmmm….

Read a February 14, 2017, article about the current problems with the Oroville Dam resulting from the superficial analysis that FERC habitually conducts of projects for which it has responsibility.

Continuing the Fight

Voices From Bath and Highlanders for Responsible Development co-sponsored a meeting in Highland County on February 1, 2017. at which speakers from five groups discussed the DEIS and offered ways for the many attendees to continue their involvement in the pipeline fight. Speakers included Greg Buppert, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center; Rick Webb, Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition program coordinator; Joe Lovett, attorney and founder of Appalachian Mountain Advocates; Lewis Freeman, Allegheny Blue Ridge Alliance executive director; and Nancy Sorrells, with the Augusta County Alliance. The five agreed FERC had issued an incomplete and inaccurate DEIS.

Greg Buppert said the DEIS “glosses over important impacts. There’s missing information. There’s information that is deferred. But this is the type of impact statement that FERC produces.” He also said the need for the ACP has been exaggerated by a Dominion-created group of businesses. “Our first critical focus will be on the need for this project. There’s evidence that this project is not needed to meet the demand for natural gas. The arrangement of the entities, both building the pipeline and buying the gas, is that they’re all affiliates and subsidiaries of Dominion Resources. You don’t need an advanced degree in economics to know that’s not an arm’s length transaction that’s accurately reflecting the market.”

Rick Webb pointed out an obvious falsehood in the draft EIS. “Here, it says the engineering status and the permitting status are done,” he said. “Both of those are completely false. The engineering is far from being completed and none of the permitting is done.” He also said FERC had dismissed concerns about the potential for water contamination in cavernous karst terrain. “It’s not just where the pipeline crosses. Dominion is only looking at karst features within a certain distance on either side of this corridor. It’s everybody downstream — their water supply is at risk…. Once you get that mud into the subterranean karst system, it takes a long time for it to work its way out.” Webb urged residents downstream from any proposed pipeline activity to write to FERC before the April 6 deadline and request thorough study of potential karst water pollution.

Joe Lovett also urged everyone to file comments to FERC prior to April 6, and asked that they provide copies of their comments and other information to his organization, Appalachian Mountain Advocates. “If you have some data and you think FERC isn’t going to consider it, please let us know, because FERC is obligated to consider all of the relevant information. If they fail to consider it, that’s a flaw and that’s how we win.”

Nancy Sorrells urged landowners to not sell easements and discussed tactics being used by Dominion’s land agents. “This is not a done deal. The land agents who approach you will tell you it’s a done deal and you’d better sign. It’s your right — you don’t even have to talk to them. The spin they put out is pretty incredible. What they try to do is divide and conquer. They’ll say ‘Don’t tell your neighbor, but we’re going to give you a better deal.’ They’ll say ‘If you don’t sign, you’ll be flagged as troublemakers,’ or ‘We’ll just move the pipeline off your property because your neighbors have signed.’ ”

Sorrells distributed an Augusta Alliance information sheet that explains, “Dominion does not have the right to an easement through your property unless FERC grants it the power of eminent domain. That has not happened. Even if FERC ultimately grants Dominion the power of eminent domain (still far from certain), landowners have significant rights involving protection of their property to insure that they are paid the true value of the highest and best use of their property.”

The Augusta Alliance formed the Virginia Easement Action Team, a non-profit education and legal defense group, to assist landowners who do not wish to sell easements to Dominion. More information can be found at www.augustacountyalliance.org.