The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) prepared a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) to assess the environmental impacts associated with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) Restoration Project and the Supply Header (SHP) Restoration Project as proposed by Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (Atlantic) and Eastern Gas Transmission and Storage, Inc. (EGTS). Atlantic and EGTS propose to implement restoration activities that would stabilize lands affected by their previous (and now cancelled) construction efforts under the ACP and SHP Construction Projects, respectively, and facilitate their cessation of all project-related activities.
The draft supplemental EIS was prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations implementing procedural provisions of NEPA in Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 1500-1508 (40 CFR 1500-1508), and the FERC’s regulations implementing NEPA in 18 CFR 380. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture — Forest Service are cooperating agencies for development of the supplemental EIS.
FERC staff has determined that the ACP and SHP Restoration Projects, with the additional mitigation measures recommended in the draft supplemental EIS, would continue to avoid or reduce impacts to less than significant levels. This determination is based on the review of information filed by Atlantic and EGTS, and further developed from data requests, scoping, literature research, and contacts with federal agencies. As part of the review, staff developed specific mitigation measures that it determined would appropriately and reasonably reduce the environmental impacts resulting from restoration activities. If the ACP and SHP Restoration Projects are implemented in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, the mitigation measures discussed in the draft supplemental EIS, and staff’s recommendations, the project environmental impacts project would be reduced to less than significant levels with the exception of climate change impacts, which FERC staff is unable to determine significance.
The draft supplemental EIS comment period closes on September 13, 2021. The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the projects.