Unnecessary and unwanted: Opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline grows

Posted by Lara Mack | March 22, 2017 at 1:13 pm

There’s still time to add your voice to the choir of people across the country urging FERC to reject the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

There’s still time to add your voice to the choir of people across the country urging FERC to reject the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

There’s still time to add your voice to the choir of people across the country urging FERC to reject the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Click here to submit a comment.

Despite a faulty format, the public has taken every opportunity to tell the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. At the start of 2017, Appalachian Voices and our partners criticized the many flaws in FERC’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Now, as the 90-day public comment period nears its conclusion, thousands of people have told FERC that the DEIS is insufficient and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline poses significant threats to the environment and public safety.

FERC is required to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline DEIS, and communities have taken every opportunity to tell the commission to reject the pipeline. In February and March, FERC visited communities in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia to receive spoken and written comments.

Community members turned up at every Atlantic Coast Pipeline DEIS listening session along the pipeline route to share their concerns. Turnout at the events varied from roughly 40 to more than 150 people, with the Nelson County listening session in Lovingston, Va., topping out at 157. Commenters at every listening session sent a clear message to FERC — nearly all spoke in opposition to the pipeline.

Groups not only found fault with the DEIS itself, but also with the FERC listening session format. Unlike the public hearing procedure that most of us are familiar with, FERC sequestered commenters one at a time into a separate room or private space to record their comments. The Society of Environmental Journalists, a professional association of more than 1,200 journalists, objected to FERC’s public listening session process.

In a letter to FERC, SEJ President Bobby Magill wrote:

“The ‘listening’ format, which may be an effort to encourage commenters to speak freely, bars the public and the media from bearing witness to the event, much less hearing the information and arguments presented by other citizens.

“We understand that comments taken at such sessions are recorded, and that transcripts are posted in the online docket for the project in question, and that they are generally available for review there within a couple of weeks. But that effectively suppresses the news about the content of the meeting by divorcing it from the immediacy of the event itself. The public is left to wonder what transpired, when there is no reason to make them wait.”

The DEIS comment period has proved to be a rallying point for organizations to connect with new folks concerned about pipelines. A number of grassroots groups along the pipeline route are hosting comment-writing parties and encouraging pipeline opponents to submit their concerns using FERC’s online system or via good ol’ snail mail. Comment-writing parties have popped up in Charlottesville, Staunton and Buckingham, among other places.

But you don’t need to attend a party to learn more about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline or to send comments to FERC. A number of useful documents exist to help people navigate FERC’s website and comment submission process. And, if none of those are quite what you need, you can always call the FERC help desk to walk you through the online submission process or click here to sign on to Appalachian Voices’ grassroots comments.

As we dive into the final two weeks of FERC’s public comment period for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline DEIS, don’t forget to tell FERC why the pipeline is unnecessary and unwanted! Click here to send your comment to FERC.

30 Responses

  1. Tom Harris says:

    Fossil Fuels are dying. We don’t need more dirty fuel infrastructure, we need clean energy.

  2. Rebecca Lexa says:

    Please do not allow the Atlantic Coast Pipeline! Oil spills are enough of a problem as it is; we don’t need to add to the chances that fragile ecosystems and nearby humans will be harmed.

  3. Ms Georgia Shankel says:

    We need to invest in clean energy before the world leaves us behind.

  4. John Comella says:

    The Atlantic Coast Pipeline keeps us tied to fossil fuels, which creates air and water pollution and causes climate change. We should be transferring to clean energy (solar and wind) to fight all of fossil fuels’ pollution.

  5. Adrian Smith says:

    Reject the Atlantic coast pipeline. It makes a lot more sense, both for the environment and for the safety of the public to put the money that was going to be spent on the pipeline to be routed to solar and wind power.

  6. CAROL COLLINS says:


  7. Tom Hoffman says:

    This pipeline is totally unnecessary and will cause great harm to the environment.

  8. M R Wood says:

    I am opposed to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It is unnecessary and the DEIS is insufficient. It poses significant threats to the environment and public safety.

  9. To Whom It May Concern:

    TRULY clean energy is the ONLY way to move forward and fight the effects of climate change. Pipelines WILL LEAK and spill toxins in our water, in the ground and fumes in the air. We’ve got too many pipelines already. We need NO MORE!

    Thank you for your attention to this message.

    – See more at: http://appvoices.org/2017/03/22/unnecessary-and-unwanted-opposition-to-the-atlantic-coast-pipeline-grows/comment-page-1/#comment-597695

  10. Therese Wil;son says:

    It’s way past time to transition to renewables!
    There are more potential jobs available to folks in the renewable energy industry
    despite what the fossil fuels industry says. It’s a con. always has been.
    The people of this beautiful region deserve better.

  11. Patsy Lowe says:

    FERC was and is problematic. get busy and do the right thing for someone other than business.

  12. Stop the United nessary pipeline a waste for everyone

  13. Jim Dixon says:

    This part of US has already been poisoned By Duke Energy,excessive coal pollution and my wife cant even go out in excessive polluted SW West Virginia!!!

  14. anthony montapert says:

    I oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

  15. Sue E. Dean says:

    The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is not in the public interest. It poses very real threats to public health and safety across West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. Not only will it create permanent adverse impacts on the local environment, it will contribute to several more decades of global climate pollution.

    Studies show that existing gas infrastructure is more than sufficient to meet regional energy needs for residents and industry. Therefore, the primary beneficiaries of the pipeline will be private companies. This is deeply concerning, given that a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity would allow the taking of private property for this project.

    It is time for industry to stop relying on fossil energy and instead switch to clean renewable power sources. The planet is getting warmer and the world must stop and even reverse this trend starting now. That means not allowing for-profit corporations to continue mining, selling and using fossil energies.

    The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) fails to provide adequate information for public comment and fully account for all of the environmental threats posed by the ACP. Among them:

    1. Forests and Habitat. The project will adversely impact 6,800 acres of pristine forest, with 3,800 acres damaged permanently. It would fragment habitat for listed species and disrupt views from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail. The Applicants request an amendment to the George Washington National Forest plan that would convert 104 acres to a “utility corridor.” Yet the Applicants have not provided the U.S. Forest Service with requested surveys. The EIS process cannot move forward until consultation with the U.S. Forest Service is complete.

    2. Surface Water and Wetlands. The ACP would cross 1,989 streams or rivers and affect 786 acres of wetlands, yet several crossing plans and mitigation plans are missing or incomplete. It is impossible to conclude that impacts will not be significant without this information.

    3. Climate Change. The DEIS does not analyze the greenhouse gas lifecycle of a project that enables 1.5 Bcf/day of a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) to be shipped and burned. While the DEIS does provide a rough calculation of GHG emissions resulting from end-use, it does not analyze upstream or fugitive emissions in a meaningful way.

    4. Air Pollution. Operation of the ACP would produce emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, GHGs, and hazardous air pollutants, and each of the three new compressor stations would require a federal permit as major source emitters. Yet the DEIS refuses to take seriously system alternatives, including existing pipelines and emission-free sources of electricity generation, despite a stated purpose that roughly 80% of the gas proposed to be shipped is intended for electricity generation.

    5. Safety. Federal data and independent studies show that natural gas pipeline leaks and explosions occur regularly, and these accidents have increased in frequency in recent years. (http://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Risks-Associated-With-Natural-Gas-Pipeline-Expansion-in-Appalachia-_April-2016.2.pdf) The DEIS states that the Applicants would comply with federal construction and operation standards and that emergency contact information for local fire, police, and public officials would be provided. This is cold comfort to people living near the route, especially in cases where communities are serviced by

  16. Tania J Malven says:

    Keep it in the ground!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No oil = NO SPILLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Fahy Mullaney says:

    This pipeline will not create lasting jobs, it will leave a scar forever on our landscapes and it will encourage more fossil fuel consumption endangering our planet.

    Stop this pipeline. At a minimum alter its route at those points, such as at the Wintergreen Resort in Virginia, where it endangers citizens and/or passes the only entrance/exit to a community.

  18. Annette Pirrone says:

    Reject the Atlantic Coast pipeline. We don’t need it – we don’t want it!!!

  19. Wendy Fast says:

    The pipeline will leak-there is no one that has not leaked. And when it leaks, it will pollute our land and air with toxins.

  20. Marci De Sart says:

    the Atlantic Coast Pipeline poses significant threats to the environment and public safety. – See more at: http://appvoices.org/2017/03/22/unnecessary-and-unwanted-opposition-to-the-atlantic-coast-pipeline-grows/#sthash.L0IH05R1.dpuf

  21. freya christensen says:

    Oil and crude are things of the past. We don’t need any more damn pipelines!

  22. Gary Sullivan says:

    No Pipeline in Virginia

  23. No Pipeline!

  24. Phyllis Dolph says:

    The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is unnecessary and it is unwanted! It poses significant threats to the environment and public safety. Please REJECT the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

    Also, change your listening format to be the usual format of public hearings where comments are clear and open to the public.

    Just reject the pipeline.

    Phyllis Dolph

  25. Linda L.E. Emrich says:

    The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a totally unnecessary corporate scheme to make the for profit and fossil fuel corporations all the more powerful by destroying our naturally regenerating life supporting habitat to spread the growth of the megalopolis just as has happened throughout the country. The Mountain Valley Pipeline is just as unnecessary and destructive. Leave the fossil fuels in the ground! Ban Fracking NOW! Water for LIFE!
    Got OXYGEN? Renewable non polluting technologies NOW! Our God given environment is not meant to be the dumping ground for corporate waste. GO SOLAR

  26. ken gunther says:

    Dear sir….
    Little differently than any pipeline of the many that have been built, this pipeline will do us great harm.
    Please block it’s construction.
    earnestly yours,
    ken gunther

  27. Sandra Couch says:

    Do not allow any more oil pipelines to be built in our oceans, on our land or anywhere.
    We need to focus our energy toward CLEAN sources such as wind, solar, thermal, and such. We need to move away from use of fossil fuels that are toxic and very harmful to our marine life and our lands and mankind’s health.


  28. Fred Stanback says:

    More fossil fuel not needed

  29. Linda Marshall says:

    We need to concentrate our efforts on clean energy, NOT destructive, obsolete fossil fuels!

Leave a Reply

Follow responses || Trackback ||

The Front Porch Blog