Latest Update (June 2020): The United States Supreme Court has determined that the $8 Billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project that will deliver natural gas from West Virginia to the East Coast has permission to run underneath a segment of the Appalachian Trail.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a joint effort by Dominion Energy and Duke Energy to build the means of transporting West Virginia’s natural gas across 600 miles to Virginia and Maryland.
This recent Supreme Court ruling is the biggest court decision yet in a nationwide legal battle over the use of fossil fuels and the expansion of interstate pipelines.
With the expansion of the pipeline system, thousands of high-paying jobs will be created for the construction of this “interstate highway system” for natural gas delivery and export.
Virginia regulators have cleared the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline to begin construction on its 300-mile track across the state with the approval of three crucial environmental protection plans.
The planning that has gone into preventing disasters is commendable. Natural gas is eminently useful as a cleaner alternative as compared to coal, but still carries with it inherent risks. Explosions, fires, and environmental damage can result from factors beyond the control of regulations, including but not limited to defective products and equipment and human error, resulting in serious injuries including life-altering burns, and loss of life.
Virginia Gives Final Approval for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
The Virginia state Department of Environmental Quality said late Friday that it had signed off on plans to control erosion and sediment, manage water runoff from storms and limit damage to the geography of certain mountainous areas as blasting and digging for the natural gas pipeline gets underway.
The Mountain Valley Line and Atlantic Coast pipeline projects are both now cleared for construction in Virginia, allowing the completion of both major projects.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline, which is being built by a consortium led by EQT Midstream Partners of Pittsburgh, follows a 300-mile route from West Virginia through the far southwest of Virginia and into North Carolina.
This segment of the pipeline in West Virginia will impact approximately 4,214 acres of land for the construction of approximately 196 miles of natural gas pipeline along with compressor stations, meter stations, access roads, and interconnects through Wetzel, Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis, Braxton, Webster, Nicholas, Greenbrier, Fayette, Summers, and Monroe Counties in West Virginia.
“This is a major step forward for the project,” Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby said in a news release. “We’re eager to get to work in Virginia so we can build on the significant progress we’ve made in West Virginia and North Carolina.”
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will run about 600 miles from West Virginia, into Virginia’s Highland County, across the Shenandoah region and through central Virginia into North Carolina. Construction has already begun in the other two states, and some tree-cutting took place in Virginia early this year.
This portion of the Atlantic pipeline in WV will touch approximately 2,497 acres of land for the construction of approximately 98.7 miles of natural gas pipeline along with a compressor station, meter stations, access roads, and interconnects through Harrison, Lewis, Upshur, Randolph, and Pocahontas Counties in West Virginia.
But the state DEQ had held up on final approval of the key environmental-protection plans as regulators wrestled with the unusual demands of a gigantic, 42-inch-diameter pipeline that would run through steep terrain and make thousands of waterway crossings.
Maps of the major pipelines which will run through West Virginia from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP).
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