Anti-Pipeline Groups in Central Va. Asking FERC to Reconsider Project Approval

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Ernie Reed of Friends of Nelson Ernie Reed of Friends of Nelson

Several groups across the commonwealth are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to reconsider its approval of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

FERC issued a certificate of convenience and necessity for the pipeline. But organizations, including the Charlottesville-based Southern Environmental Law Center and Friends of Nelson, are challenging there is not enough information to make a decision.

"Friends of Nelson filed a request for rehearing and a motion for a stay to FERC to challenge their issuance of the certificate,” Ernie Reed said.

Organizations and opponents across central Virginia say the FERC does not have enough information on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

"We had 62 property owners in Nelson County and citizen and a community of organizations who worked together to challenge this and to file the request,” Reed said.

Friends of Nelson County hopes FERC will listen to so many voices.

"FERC has never seen such an outpouring of information, concern, individuals, groups opposing a decision that they've ever made before,” Reed said.

In a statement to NBC29, Dominion Energy says, "After more than three years of painstaking review, the FERC concluded that the project will serve a vital public need."

Others disagree.

"It's a $5 billion, $6 billion investment in gas infrastructure that's gonna cross hundreds of thousands of pieces of private property," Greg Buppert said.

The Southern Environmental Law Center says there is too much uncertainty to move forward.

"Two commissioners voted for the pipeline and one voted against and that is really unprecedented in recent memory,” Buppert said.

The groups hope FERC can reconsider the decision sooner than later.

"The number one point we are concerned about is that; here we are, FERC has a decision and it still hasn't assessed the market demand for this project. So we still don't know if the project is needed,” Buppert said.

Also in the statement to NBC29, Dominion Energy says, "More than a dozen other state and federal agencies have thoroughly scrutinized every aspect of this project to ensure the highest level of protection for public safety and the environment."