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Atlantic Coast natgas line receives state permits

26 Jan 2018 19:28 GMT
Atlantic Coast natgas line receives state permits

Houston, 26 January (Argus) — Dominion's Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline received key permits from two states this week, moving the project closer to beginning construction.

The 1.4 Bcf/d (40mn m³/d) Atlantic Coast pipeline received federal approval in October and is being developed to span 604 miles (972km) in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.

The role of state agencies in approving interstate pipelines has resulted in multiple projects being delayed or entering regulatory limbo in recent years amid public opposition, regardless of the projects' federal approval status. Most notably the New York Department of Environmental Conservation denied a key water permit to the Constitution pipeline in 2016, resulting in an ongoing legal battle.

Today the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality issued a water quality certification to the Atlantic Coast line, and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has approved its erosion and sediment control permit.

Tree felling and vegetation clearing is already underway on the project in West Virginia and is expected to continue through March, said a spokesman for Dominion. Approvals that remain outstanding include a federal water quality permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers, and erosion and sediment control permits from the states of North Carolina and Virginia. Once the line receives the few remaining approvals, it will request a notice to proceed with full construction from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Dominion expects to begin full construction by spring and bring the pipeline into service by late 2019.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality approved a water certificate for the line in December. An announcement in June 2017 from that state department saying it was developing additional requirements to ensure that water quality standards were maintained had raised questions about whether the line would receive approval.

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