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):

Deadline for Comments on FERC Process: July 25


The deadline for commenting to FERC on revising its policies on review and authorization of natural gas pipeline proposals is July 25, 2018. FERC’s policies have not been revised since 1989!

FERC’s news release of April 19, 2018: Commission Initiates Notice of Inquiry into Pipeline Certificate Policy Statement

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today launched an inquiry seeking information and stakeholder perspectives to help the Commission explore whether, and if so, how, to revise existing policies regarding its review and authorization of interstate natural gas transportation facilities under section 7 of the Natural Gas Act.

FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to examine its policies in light of changes in the natural gas industry and increased stakeholder interest in how it reviews natural gas pipeline proposals since the Commission adopted its current Policy Statement on pipeline certification. The Commission issued its current Policy Statement, “Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Facilities – Statement of Policy” (Docket No. PL99-3-000), in September 1999.

Today’s NOI poses a range of questions that reflect concerns raised in numerous public comments, court proceedings and other forums. Through the NOI, FERC is seeking input on potential changes to both the existing Policy Statement and the structure and scope of the Commission’s environmental analysis of proposed natural gas projects.

The Commission also is seeking feedback on the transparency, timing, and predictability of its certification process. FERC is encouraging commenters to specifically identify any perceived issues with the current analytical and procedural approaches, and to provide detailed recommendations to address these issues.

A number of recent news stories have addresses FERC’s refusal to address broader impacts of pipelines on climate change and greenhouse gases, e.g. LaFleur defies FERC majority, will consider broad climate impacts of pipelines, and Federal appeals court dismisses pipeline case that charged FERC with bias.

Be sure to use docket number PL18-1-000 when submitting your comment to FERC, whether you submit electronically or by U.S. mail.

You may  submit a comment to FERC electronically (https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx).  

Directions to submit an e comment:

Go to https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx and fill in your information.  They will send you an email immediately. You will need to click on the link they provide in the email. It will take you to the FERC comment page. You will need to enter the docket number – PL18-1-000. After you have entered it, it should show up in a box, and you will need to click on the blue ‘+’ next to it. Then you copy and paste your comment into the provided box or write in your comment and submit.

You can also send comments and letters by U.S. mail, addressed to:

Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE, Room 1A
Washington, DC 20426

To read other submissions to FERC:  You can search the FERC database of comments submitted on the ACP using either their General Search page or their Advanced Search page.  In both cases, be sure to include the docket number (PL18-1-000).  Note:  You should be aware that the search page and its functions on FERC’s Web site are temperamental and often non-functional – that in itself is something worthy of comments to FERC!

ACP Threatens “Alcohol Alley”

An article in the July 3, 2018, Belt Magazine discusses how “Alcohol Alley” merchants say the Atlantic Coast Pipeline threatens their industry.

“Whether it’s a glass of estate Chardonnay on the grounds of Afton Mountain Winery or a Full Nelson IPA on Blue Mountain Brewery’s sprawling patio, the breathtaking Shenandoah views are a common ingredient in the region’s various alcoholic beverages. Terrific views sell booze, and many of Nelson County’s producers have capitalized on the landscape to power on-site appeal at their facilities. Virginia doesn’t track tap room & tasting room sales volumes across categories of alcoholic beverage, and besides, it’d be impossible to extrapolate how much of that revenue was directly due to the scenery. But on-site sales are a crucial source of revenue for small alcohol producers across the country, and the ACP’s impending construction in the Rockfish Valley may threaten that.”

The article discusses the importance of unspoiled scenery to Nelson County’s alcoholic beverage industry, which employs some 425 locals directly, and helped to bring in almost $200 million in tourism expenditures in 2016 (the most recent year for which data is available). All this would be threatened by Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

DEQ Gives Notice to MVP on Violations


On July 10, 2018, both the Roanoke Times and WSLS10 reported that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has given EQT Corp. in Pittsburgh, builder of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a nine-page notice of environmental violations punishable by fines and repair mandates. The notice says MVP failed to install and maintain erosion-control devices has fouled 8,800 feet of streams in six locations.

Read the full Notice of Violation.

According to the Roanoke Times, “The Virginia notice is not a finding of guilt or liability but a set of allegations over which the company and regulators are to negotiate and reach agreement. In Virginia, fines for environmental violations of the type alleged can reach $32,000 per day. ‘We are holding MVP accountable and we expect full resolution of the issues,’ DEQ spokeswoman Ann Regn said Tuesday. …. The unexpectedly large rainfall won’t qualify as an excuse for not keeping sediment under control, said Regn, who added that the company is responsible for cleanup.”

The company has 10 days to respond – BUT they are allowed to keep working during the 10 days.