You can access a printable copy of these FAQs at: http://preservethenrv.com/docs/mvp_faq.pdf
Now that MVP has filed its formal application, what is the Docket Number assigned by the FERC?
The docket number for the MVP application is CP16-10-000. You must use this docket number in any correspondence to FERC about the MVP project and you should use this docket number to search for comments/filings on the FERC website for the MVP application.
I registered with the FERC during the pre-filing stage. Do I need to register again?
No. The FERC automatically assigned everyone who subscribed to MVP’s pre-filing docket (PF-15-3-000) to the new docket number assigned to the formal application.
Where can I access the formal application for the MVP?
You can access the formal application in its entirety on the Preserve the New River Valley website at http://preservethenrv.com/mvp-formal-application/.
What can I do now?
Now that MVP has filed, you can do the following:
- Obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings. To do this, you must file a motion to intervene. This will give you intervenor status.
- File comments in opposition (also known as a protest) to the project.
- Send a letter to be placed on the environmental mailing list.
You can do one, two or all three of these actions.
What does it mean to be an intervenor?
According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), “an intervenor is an official party to a proceeding and enjoys distinct advantages over those who only file comments” An intervention grants you the right to receive the applicant’s filings and other Commission documents related to the case as well as materials filed by other interested parties and provides you with the ability to appeal a decision in court. Specifically, intervenors have the right to:
- Participate in hearings before FERC’s administrative law judges,
- File briefs,
- File for rehearing of a Commission decision,
- Have legal standing in a Court of Appeals if they challenge the Commission’s final decision, and
- Be placed on a service list to receive copies of case-related Commission documents and filings by other intervenors.
You need to understand that if you choose not to intervene, you lose your personal legal standing and you cannot take the FERC to court if you wish to appeal their decision on the MVP. If you wish to file as an intervenor, you must do so no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, November 27, 2015.
Who can intervene?
Anyone who files to intervene must have what is known as “standing”. Intervenors should be materially affected by FERC’s decision on the MVP. Certainly if you are a landowner on the proposed route, you have standing. However, landowners do not have to be directly on the route to be impacted by the pipeline. Anyone who can demonstrate that they will be materially impacted by the MVP can show standing. Besides directly impacted landowners this includes:
- Local governments
- Landowners within the vicinity of the route (remember, pipeline routes can be changed throughout the process – if you do not intervene, you may lose the ability to challenge a new route configuration)
- Landowners in the blast zone
- Organizations representing impacted landowners
- Organizations representing specific interests that may be harmed by the MVP
- Businesses that fear direct impacts
- Agricultural interests who fear direct impacts
- Local residents who may have their water sources impacted by the MVP
FERC may decide that simply being a “concerned citizen” does not constitute standing. If you file to intervene in the proceedings, it is up to you to show that you have a legitimate reason for doing so (and to include this when you file to intervene).
What are the responsibilities of an intervenor?
According to the FERC, “an intervenor must serve other parties in the case”. This means that if you submit any correspondence to the FERC on the MVP, you are obligated to send copies to all intervenors on the FERC Service List for the MVP docket who are listed on the day you file the correspondence. This means if an individual or group to intervene:
- electronically, you may simply send them an email with your correspondence
- via postal mail, you must send them a copy of your correspondence by mail
You should note that as of November 20, 2015 no one has filed to intervene via postal mail so it is unlikely there will be a great deal of expense mailing correspondence to other intervenors. Additionally, you are not obligated to send copies of correspondence on the MVP that you do not send to the FERC.
To access the Service List, follow the instructions at: http://preservethenrv.com/docs/access_service_list.pdf.
Does filing as in intervenor obligate me to intervene?
No, you are under no obligation to actually intervene. However, if you have not filed as an intervenor, you cannot change your mind later on and participate in any legal actions related to FERC’s decision on the MVP.
What is the deadline for filing to be an intervenor?
You have until 5 p.m. on Friday, November 27, 2015 to file as an intervenor. While the FERC will consider late interventions, you should not assume that this is automatic. You would have to provide a very compelling reason for the FERC to consider a late filing. The FERC will also provide a very brief period to file as an intervenor after it releases its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the MVP. However, we strongly recommend that anyone wishing to ensure their legal standing file by the November 27th deadline.
How do I file as an intervenor?
- You must first register for an account with the FERC at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.
- There are two ways to file a Motion to Intervene. You can file a motion to intervene with or without an attached document. A motion without an attached document is known as a doc-less Motion to Intervene. Whether you file with or without a document, you need to show how the pipeline would adversely impact you. A sample Motion to Intervene in document format, can be accessed at: http://preservethenrv.com/docs/sample_motion_intervene.docx. Feel free to use this as you see fit.
- To file the Motion to Intervene on the FERC website, follow the instructions at: http://preservethenrv.com/docs/file-motion-intervene.pdf.
- After your motion to intervene has been accepted by the FERC, you must notify all of the parties on the Service List. To access the Service List for the MVP, follow the instructions posted at: http://preservethenrv.com/docs/access_service_list.pdf.
Do you have to be an intervenor to have your comments considered by the FERC?
No, you do not have to intervene in order to have your comments considered by the FERC. You can file with the FERC through its eFiling system (http://ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp) comments in support or opposition to the project. However, filing a comment alone does not provide you legal standing. You must file as an intervenor to be considered a party to the proceeding. If you wish to file a comment opposing the MVP, you must do so no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, November 27, 2015. That being said, Preserve the NRV emailed the FERC project manager for the MVP, Mr. Paul Friedman, asking if this deadline was firm. He stated in his reply: “While the Notice of Application indicated a deadline of November 27 for comments; in reality we will continue to consider comments filed in the docket up until we start writing the EIS”. Since we do not know when FERC will begin writing the EIS, we encourage you to submit comments by the November 27th deadline.
If you are interested in commenting only on the environmental review of the MVP and wish to be added to the environmental mailing list, you must file a letter with the Secretary of the Commission. This cannot be done electronically. You should mail this request to:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Secretary of the Commission
888 First Street, N.E.,
Washington, DC 20426
To be placed on the environmental mailing list, you must send this request prior to FERC’s completion of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). At this time, we do not know the date for this so it would be better for you to do this sooner rather than later. If you are on the environmental mailing list, you will receive copies of all environmental documents and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission’s environmental review process. Environmental commenters and mailing list members do not have legal standing and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission’s final order.
Do you have to be an intervenor to receive copies of project correspondence?
No, you do not have to register as an intervenor to receive copies of correspondence related to the MVP project. If you have filed with the FERC’s eSubscription service at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp, you will receive, via email, all future public submittals and issuances on the docket for the MVP and have electronic access to all public documents through the links provided in emails sent by the FERC. Again, this may not include legal briefs and other documents available only to intervenors.