ROANOKE, Va. - The Federal Environmental Regulatory Committee issued a stop work order for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Friday, according to a statement from Dominion Energy.
The decision comes nearly one week after the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the National Park Service's permit for the ACP.
The judges also vacated a right-of-way permit for the pipeline to pass underneath the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The ACP is proposed to go through Highland, Augusta and Nelson counties.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline spokesperson Aaron Ruby released this statement in response to the decision:
We are already working with the key agencies to resolve the issues in FERC’s order so we can resume construction as soon as possible. We are confident these issues can be resolved quickly without causing unnecessary delay to the project.
FERC has given us the opportunity to provide evidence of any portions of the project that serve an independent public need and are not impacted by the recent court rulings. We will respond with strong evidence demonstrating the independent public need to proceed with construction of the Supply Header project, as well as portions of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in West Virginia, eastern Virginia and North Carolina. These portions of the project will serve home heating and manufacturing needs in eastern Virginia and North Carolina and are not affected by recent court rulings.
With respect to the National Park Service approval to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway, we are already working with the agency to correct the errors and omissions identified by the court. We believe the agency can promptly reissue the permit based on the extensive public record and mitigation measures already in place.
With respect to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, we have already provided the agency with all of the information necessary to issue a revised Incidental Take Statement. We anticipate the agency will do so shortly.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been the most thoroughly reviewed infrastructure project in the history of our region. The recent action by the courts and FERC are further evidence of this unprecedented scrutiny and the high standard that is being applied to this project.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is critical to the economic and environmental future of our region, and we are working as quickly as we can to get construction back underway and avoid unnecessary delays. Public utilities in our region are depending on this infrastructure to meet the real and urgent needs of the millions of customers they serve.
Delaying this infrastructure will force consumers and businesses to pay higher energy costs. It will slow down the transition to cleaner energy, and it will deprive public utilities of the reliable energy they need to heat the homes of a growing population and power local businesses.
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