May 2018, Vo. 245, No. 5


FERC Denies Pipeline’s Request for More Time to Cut Trees

A federal commission denied a request from developers of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline to continue cutting down trees along the project’s route beyond an initial deadline designed to protect birds and bats.

Dominion Energy told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this month that it appeared workers couldn’t complete tree felling in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina on time and asked for an extension.

Despite the denial, a spokesman for the project said it will remain on track for completion by the end of 2019.

Dominion agreed to the tree-felling restrictions as part of the project’s environmental review process. The windows vary from state to state but generally prohibit tree cutting from mid-March or early April through mid-September or mid-November. 

Dominion, in a letter seeking an extension, wrote that the proposed modification would be at least as environmentally protective as the initially agreed-to limits.

FERC disagreed. A division director wrote in the denial letter that the request “would not offer an equal or greater level of protection.”P&GJ

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