Before receiving approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in late 2017, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was thoroughly reviewed by more than a dozen state and federal agencies for more than three years.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead federal agency responsible for overseeing the environmental review and approval process for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
In coordination with more than a dozen other local, state and federal agencies, the FERC thoroughly reviewed the project for more than three years to ensure protection of the environment, landowners and public safety. Throughout this lengthy process, the FERC and other agencies carefully analyzed all potential impacts to the region’s land, air, water, cultural and historic resources and wildlife. To evaluate these impacts, the FERC reviewed more than 100,000 pages of regulatory reports and more than 75,000 public comments. The ACP project team also worked closely with landowners and communities throughout the process, adjusting the route more than 300 times to avoid environmentally-sensitive areas and minimize impacts on individual properties.
After this exhaustive review process, the FERC approved the project in late 2017, concluding that it will serve a vital public need and will be built with minimal impacts to the environment. In addition to the FERC, the project was approved after rigorous review by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, among other state and federal agencies. The project expects to receive all remaining state and federal approvals in time to begin construction in the early spring of 2018.
- The Applicant (Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC or Atlantic) assesses the market need and project feasibility. Atlantic project team studies potential project sites and routes, identifies stakeholders and requests that FERC activate the Pre-Filing Process.
- FERC receives the Applicant’s request, formally approves the Pre-Filing Process, issues a docket number to the ACP, and begins project review.
- The ACP then sponsors public open houses—the first of the public input opportunities—in which FERC participates. FERC also holds meetings and site visits, consults with interested agencies and seeks public comments on the project.
- FERC issues a notice of intent to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
- The ACP files a formal application with FERC.
- FERC issues the DEIS for cooperating agencies to review then opens it to a comment period and holds meetings in the project area to hear public comments on the DEIS.
- FERC responds to comments, revises the DEIS and issues a final Environmental Impact Statement, along with a formal approval or denial of the project.
- If granted approval, the ACP incorporates final recommendations and requirements from regulatory agencies before proceeding with the construction and operation of the project. The pipeline would be designed, constructed, operated and maintained in accordance with FERC and U.S. Department of Transportation standards, and all other applicable regulations, standards and guidelines for safety. All federal, state and local permits and right of way access will be obtained prior to starting pipeline construction.
In addition to working with FERC, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is working with local, state and federal agencies to receive more than 2,500 other permits before the pipeline opens.
Click here to review the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s (ACP) Submittal of Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) Plans / Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ).