Atlantic Coast Pipeline and George Washington and Monongahela National Forests

The Forest Service issued a final Record of Decision (ROD) to issue a Special Use Permit (SUP) and amend the George Washington National Forest (GWNF) and Monongahela National Forest (MNF) Land and Resource Management Plans (Forest Plans) on November 17, 2017. The decision was jointly issued by the Forest Service’s Southern and Eastern Regional Foresters and authorized the use and occupancy of National Forest System (NFS) lands for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project (ACP Project), and approved project specific amendments for the George Washington National Forest and Monongahela National Forest Plans.  

Issuance of the SUP by the Forest Service is required for the pipeline construction to begin along the pipeline route on NFS lands.  The Forest Service is issuing two SUPs for the ACP Project. The first permit was issued for temporary construction, installation and use of a 42-inch natural gas transmission pipeline right-of-way on January 23, 2018. The pending long term SUP will be issued for use and maintenance of a 42-inch buried natural gas pipeline and long term access roads within the Monongahela and George Washington National Forests, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (ACP) accepted the terms of the SUP and confirmed that all necessary federal and State authorizations are in place on March 9, 2018.  Therefore, the Forest Service allowed ACP to proceed with construction of the project.

This Forest Service SUP supports federal policies emphasizing energy infrastructure, jobs, economic growth and our agency’s efforts to provide for multiple use. The ROD authorized the pipeline and approved project-specific forest plan amendments. The plan amendments provide for the continued social, economic, and ecological sustainability of the involved National Forests; maintain the diversity of plant and animal communities; and support integrated resource management for multiple use. By applying the required terms, conditions, and mitigation measures outlined in the Environmental Impact Statement, the ACP project is authorized to be implemented without impairing the long-term productivity of NFS lands.

The final decision authorized the following:

  • The use and occupancy of National Forest System (NFS) lands for the ACP Project. 
  • Amended the standards in the Plan to allow the construction and operation of the ACP Project to vary from certain restrictions on soil and riparian corridor conditions. Mitigation measures to protect soil and riparian areas are required. 
  • Allowed the issuance of special use permits in northern long-eared bat habitat where applicable mitigation measures will be implemented. 
  • Designated a 50-foot-wide permanent right-of-way. No utility corridor is designated; therefore a plan level amendment on the George Washington National Forest to allocate lands into a 5-C Designated Utility Corridor was not needed.
  • Allowed the ACP Project to cross under the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Augusta County, VA at a location where existing impacts do not already exist. 
  • Perform reconstruction of portions of a Forest Road within a Management Prescription Area 2C3-Eligible Recreational Rivers to provide access for pipeline construction. 
  • Allowed the ACP Project a five-year period to perform mitigation to meet Forest Plan scenic integrity objectives (SIO) for areas of high scenic value and other high use recreation areas, except for a short segment of the Shenandoah Mountain Trail, where the SIO has been changed to Low.

The Forest Service issued a closure order for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project corridor on the Monongahela National Forest.

For media inquiries or to leave a message about the ACP Project on the George Washington National Forest please send an email to GeorgeWashingtonAndJeffersonNationalForests-PublicAffairs@fs.fed.us or leave a voicemail at 1-888-603-0261

For media inquiries or to leave a message about the ACP Project on the Monongahela National Forest please contact Kelly Bridges at kellybridges@fs.fed.us or 304-635-4432.

Documents

Closure Order for the project corridor on the Monongahela National Forest 

Special Use Permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Special Use Permit exhibits

Forest Service Final Record of Decision - Atlantic Coast Pipeline Special Use Permit/Land and Resource Management Plan Amendments

News Release announces final Record of Decision

List of Forest Service documents submitted to ACP FERC Docket

Response to Objections

Frequently Asked Questions on final Record of Decision

Links

FERC Final Environmental Impact Statement for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

FERC Notice of Availability

FERC Certificate

2014 Revised Land and Resource Managment Plan for the George Washington National Forest

2006 Revised Forest Plan and Environmental Impact Statement Documents for the Monongahela National Forest

Construction, Operation, and Maintenance Plan 





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/landmanagement/projects/?cid=stelprd3824603