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ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE – A NOTE FROM USDA

The USDA Forest Service has released  a final Record of Decision (ROD) for  1)authorization of a special use permit to Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) for the use of National Forest System (NFS) land to construct, operate, maintain and eventually decommission a natural gas pipeline on the Monongahela National Forest (MNF) and George Washington National Forest (GWNF) and 2) approval of project- specific amendments to the MNF and GWNF Land and Resource Management Plans associated with implementing the ACP.  As an interested or affected party, the Forest Service is providing you with notice of the availability of the ROD for the ACP Project.

This final decision is specific to National Forest System (NFS) lands within the MNF and GWNF.  the decision is based on the evaluation of potential effects of the construction, operation, and maintenance of 21 miles (5.1 miles across the MNF and 15.9 miles across the GWNF of a proposed 42-inch diameter interstate natural gas pipeline as disclosed in the ACP Project and Supply Header Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).  The FEIS documents the impacts of the proposed ACP Project over its entire 604.5-mile route including the portions on NFS lands.   The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was the lead agency for preparing the FEIS and is responsible for deciding whether to authorize the construction, operation, and maintenance of the ACP Project and Supply Header Project in its entirety.  The FERC’s FEIS can be found at https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp (under Documents and Filings, Elibrary, General Search, Docket Number: CP15-554).

The Forest Service published a draft decision, and initiated an objection period as outlined in the regulations at 36 CFR Part 218 on July 21, 2017 with publication of the legal notice in The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the newspapers of record for decisions made by the Eastern Region and Southern Region Regional Foresters and the subject national forests.  Notices were also published in the Inter-Mountain and The Roanoke Times for a wider notification.  The objection period concluded and the Forest Service has responded to objections that were filed.