Atlantic Coast Pipeline receives key regulatory approval from U.S. Forest Service
The following is a statement by Dominion Energy spokesperson Aaron Ruby regarding the U.S. Forest Service’s issuance of a Record of Decision approving the Atlantic Coast Pipeline:
Today the Atlantic Coast Pipeline received another key regulatory approval from the U.S. Forest Service, which moves the project another major step toward final approval later this year.
After more than three years of exhaustive study, the Forest Service has issued a favorable Record of Decision authorizing construction, operation and maintenance of the ACP on Forest Service lands, as well as amendments to the Forest Service’s Land Resource Management Plans. The agency concluded that the project will be built with minimal impacts to the national forests, wildlife, water quality and other environmental resources under the agency’s care.
The agency’s favorable decision was reached after more than three years of careful study, meaningful engagement with the public and other agencies, and extensive field surveys by expert wildlife biologists. Through close consultation with the agency, the project has made numerous adjustments to avoid environmentally sensitive areas in the national forests, including sensitive wildlife habitats. Total mileage in the national forests was also reduced by more than one-third.
We’ve always strived to balance the energy needs of consumers and the economy with responsible environmental stewardship. The Forest Service’s approval shows that through collaboration with agencies and the scientific community, we can responsibly develop infrastructure in a way that preserves the environment and protects our natural resources.
We commend the agency’s staff for the years of hard work and careful study they’ve dedicated to reviewing the project. We also appreciate the thoughtful and constructive input provided by other agencies and members of the public. This has been a truly collaborative process, and it’s resulted in important protections for the environment.
The Forest Service will implement its approval by issuing separate Special Use Permits for construction and operation of the pipeline.
The Record of Decision is available on the U.S. Forest Service website