Permitting Process

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Scenic Shot of Grassy Meadow and Wooden Fence

Permitting Process

Before the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is approved and construction can begin, the project will receive a comprehensive environmental review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

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 will conduct a thorough and exhaustive review to evaluate all potential environmental, cultural, socioeconomic and other impacts of the project. Throughout this lengthy process, the FERC and other agencies will carefully analyze all potential impacts to the land, air and water quality, wildlife and other resources to ensure the project has adopted all necessary measures to protect the environment, landowners and public safety. In order to support the FERC’s review process, we have provided more than 100,000 pages of reports and documentation covering every aspect of the project.

The environmental review process provides numerous opportunities for the public to provide meaningful input to the agencies, including more than two dozen public meetings and multiple public comment periods. Over the last two years, the FERC has received more than 35,000 public comments from landowners, residents, businesses and organizations in communities across the region.

Environmental Review Process

Environmental Review Process graphic
  • 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.