Atlantic Coast Pipeline officials say West Virginia and North Carolina have both issued permits that bring actual pipeline construction one step closer. In West Virginia, state officials have approved an erosion and sediment control permit for that state’s portion of the pipeline. Officials say once a few more approvals are in hand, they will seek the go-ahead for actual pipeline construction there. And North Carolina environmental officials have approved the state’s water quality certification.
(Continue reading for news releases on the West Virginia and North Carolina actions.)
From Dominion Energy Spokesperson Aaron Ruby: “The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has approved the state’s erosion and sediment control permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. This is a very significant milestone for the project and one of only a few remaining approvals needed to begin construction. This brings West Virginia one step closer to the thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity the project will bring to communities across the state.
We commend the agency’s staff for the years of hard work and careful study they’ve dedicated to reviewing the project. For more than three years, the agency carefully reviewed the project and considered extensive public input. The agency followed a rigorous process and left no stone unturned. The agency’s approval includes numerous conditions to strengthen protections for water quality and other natural resources.
At every stage of the project we’ve taken great care to meet the highest water quality standards. In many cases, we’ve gone above and beyond regulatory requirements and adopted some of the most protective measures ever used by the industry. This should assure all West Virginians that the pipeline will be built safely and in a way that protects the state’s water quality.
With federal authorization, upland tree felling and vegetation clearing has been underway in West Virginia for several days and will continue through the end of March. Once we receive a few remaining approvals from other state and federal agencies, we’ll take the final step of requesting a Notice to Proceed with full construction from FERC. We expect to receive these remaining approvals in time to begin full construction activity by the early spring.”
The following is a statement by Dominion Energy spokesperson Aaron Ruby regarding the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s approval of the state water quality certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline:
“Today the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved the state water quality certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, one of two remaining approvals needed to begin pre-construction activities in the state. After more than three years of comprehensive study, representing the most thorough environmental review of any infrastructure project in state history, the agency concluded that the project will preserve North Carolina’s water quality under stringent state standards.
This process resulted in more environmental protection and higher water quality standards than any other project of its kind. At every stage of the project, we’ve gone above and beyond regulatory requirements and adopted some of the most protective measures ever used by the industry. Additionally, state and federal inspectors will closely monitor construction to ensure we meet all regulatory standards.
We commend the DEQ staff for the years of hard work and careful study they’ve dedicated to reviewing the project. We also appreciate the thoughtful and constructive input provided by members of the public. This has been a rigorous and transparent process, and everyone’s voice has been heard.
Today’s approval brings North Carolina one step closer to a growing economy, thousands of new jobs and lower energy costs for consumers. With new infrastructure, the region will be able to attract manufacturers and other new industries, and the good-paying jobs they bring. It will also accelerate the transition from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas and support new investments in renewables, resulting in cleaner air and lower emissions in communities across the state.”