(RICHMOND, VA)—Today the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's (ACP) request to extend tree cutting work by two months was denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The extension would have run until May 15 and jeopardized sensitive bird species. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) had filed comments with FERC opposing the extension request. This comes soon after the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued ACP a notice of violation for illegally cutting trees along streams and wetlands. CBF Vice President for Litigation Jon Mueller released the following statement.
"FERC made the right call by denying the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's request to continue cutting trees during a critical season for wildlife. Without proper permits, workers have already cut down thousands of trees across miles of Virginia's Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains for the pipeline. The pipeline company had asked for permission to destroy even more trees this spring, despite the fact that it told the federal government and the state that it would stop cutting trees by March 15 to reduce dangers to migratory and threatened birds such as owls, warblers, and woodpeckers.
"The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has already broken promises to do everything possible to protect pristine mountain streams and the fish that live in them. Just this month, DEQ issued a notice finding that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline had violated state law by cutting trees too close to streams. As pipeline construction continues, state and federal agencies must stay vigilant to protect both wildlife and clean water."