The North Carolina Coastal Federation submitted comments on April 3 regarding the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline that would cross through major water bodies, including waters in North Carolina.
The letter, which is addressed to Nathaniel J. Davis Sr., deputy secretary of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, requests “a new Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), or at the very least, a supplement to the existing DEIS document” that was released at the end of 2016.
The letter said that “the obvious environmental impacts to water quality, aquatic organisms, and overall ecosystem health are apparent, yet minimally outlined in the DEIS.”
More studies that look at the impact of natural gas leaks must be conducted, as the proposed project would cross 20 major water bodies in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The federation also requests that applicants should “complete biological surveys for sensitive and state-listed species, including plants, non-mussel aquatic species and freshwater mussels.” The request for these surveys was made by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.
The federation also expressed concerns about the economics of the pipeline, saying that numbers boasting the success of the project are inflated. Most jobs would not be permanent, and ratepayers will have to pay an estimated 96 percent of the project cost.
According to the letter, “it is clear that with the current document, the permitting process cannot move forward. It is impossible to obtain a full assessment of the impacts of this project without a DEIS that contains all necessary information.”