Bold Alliance and Bold Educational Fund filed February 22 to request that FERC seek a rehearing regarding the nine Notices to Proceed that were issued from January 21 to February 16.
In the filing, Bold argued that Paul Friedman, an Environmental Project Manager with FERC and signer of the nine Notices to Proceed in question, does not have the authority to grant said Notices to MVP. Specifically, as an environmental project manager, Friedman does not qualify as a “comparable official” to the Director of OEP, and thus does not qualify as a designee of the Director of the Office of Energy Projects and cannot legally grant Notices to Proceed.
“Although arguably, the certificate allows the Director of OEP to sub-delegate all of its obligations to a “designee,” the Commission’s regulations do not permit the Director to sub-delegate its delegated authority to anyone. Instead, Section 375.301(b) states that:
Where the Commission, in delegating functions to specified Commission officials, permits an official to further delegate those functions to a designee of such official, designee shall mean the deputy of such official, the head of a division, or a comparable official as designated by the official to whom the direct delegation is made.“
Additionally, Bold stated that granting a Notice to Proceed while challenges to the project in the rehearing process are still pending is a violation of parties’ due process rights.
Preserve Craig filed February 26 requesting that FERC “reconsider and clarify” Notice to Proceed No. 9, originally issued February 16.
Preserve Craig noted that the Notice to Proceed includes construction on the Adlai Jones Family Farm Lands, the Treatment Plan for which still has not been finalized. Specifically, the most recently submitted revised Treatment Plan excluded numerous historical resources on the property in question, and none of the omissions have been addressed in subsequent supplemental filings by MVP.
Additionally, Preserve Craig asserted that the Director of OEP should not authorize construction of the project until FERC issues a decision on the merits of rehearing requests.
Shortly following the filing of letters from VDHR March 9 and 12, Preserve Craig filed supplemental information March 12 supporting their motion for reconsideration originally filed February 26. In the supplemental information, the advocacy group notes that the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) both noted outstanding concerns regarding the potential project effects on the Adlai Jones Farm. Additionally, VHDR “commented on the revised Treatment Plans, expressing similar concerns regarding errors in the mapping of the Adlai Jones Farm” and recommended that a corrected impact analysis be prepared.
Preserve Craig again called for “consultation between OEP Staff, or Mountain Valley as its delegate, the Jones Family, and Craig County regarding the potential project effects on the Adlai Jones Farm and the effectiveness of proposed measures to resolve adverse effects before any pre-construction or construction activity is authorized on or adjacent to those lands.” Additionally, Preserve Craig asserted that OEP Staff should address “the improper exclusion of Craig County from the consultation process under Section 106 of the NHPA due to Mountain Valley’s error in reporting the Adlai Jones Farm lands as existing entirely in Giles County, rather than extending to Craig County.”