A potential “end run” coming from the those wanting to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline at the mountain entrance of Wintergreen would “circumvent legislative due process regarding private companies using our national forests for their gain,” according to a July 23rd letter to property owners in the resort community from the board of directors of the Wintergreen Property Owners Association.
“Dominion is facing resistance on several fronts and is pushing back,” WPOA’s letter explains. WPOA is asking its members to contact their elected representatives, pointing to three recent developments.
From the letter:
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision invalidating the US Forest Service’s grant of easement for the ACP to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway and National Scenic Trail (Appalachian Trail) at Wintergreen is preventing any further work in our area. This case was brought by the Southern Environmental Legal Center (SELC) and others. However, Dominion and other industry representatives are attempting to circumvent this by lobbying Congress to insert a “rider” on other legislation to allow the USFS to grant such authorization outside of the normal legislative process.
Dominion is attempting to appeal the above 4th Circuit Court opinion to the Supreme Court. It has support from the US Solicitor General. SELC and others are following this development closely.
Dominion has petitioned in US District Court in the District of Columbia against WPOA, Fairway Woods and Friends of Wintergreen (FOW)’s lawsuit against FERC’s decision to grant ACP a Certificate of Necessity. The Certificate is the basis for Dominion’s authorization to proceed with the ACP project. Our suit was brought against FERC under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) to correct their “arbitrary and capricious” decision which ignored the environmental and safety impacts cited by the parties. We expect oral arguments in September.
“Whether you agree or disagree with Dominion’s actions, as affected property owners, we want you to be aware of ongoing events on this subject and to take action where you feel it appropriate,” WPOA’s letter concludes.
Unrelated to the WPOA letter, the Associated Press reported on July 26 that a federal court "tossed out a key permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that deals with the project’s effects on threatened or endangered species, saying a federal agency apparently had “lost sight of its mandate.” Read more