Norman C. Bay
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426
Dear Chairman Bay,
We write again to address recent FERC scoping meetings in the Virginia counties of Nelson and Augusta, on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Docket No. PF 15-6-000). As discussed, our offices received multiple accounts of discrepancies between these meetings' announced start times and the times at which people could sign up to speak. Some constituents commuted significant distances after full days of work arrived to discover that speaking slots had been claimed hours earlier.
While we appreciate your intent to review procedures for future scoping meetings, we must request that new scoping meetings be held in Nelson and Augusta counties. While we are aware that constituents may submit written comments as well, many in communities along proposed pipeline routes are learning about these complex issues in their spare time for the first time, in contrast to energy companies that have longstanding expertise in this process. In-person meetings provide invaluable access to FERC staff who can share their expertise and answer questions. Public meetings are only beneficial if they allow for maximum participation and airing of different viewpoitns, and we believe Nelson and Augusta County residents deserve the full opportunity for comment that was not provided at the previous meeting.
Thank you for your leadership in this area, as you begin your term as Chairman we look forward to working with you. If you have questions on this letter, please contact Ken Johnson or Ann Rust in Senator Warner's office or Nick Barbash in Seantor Kaine's office.