The Atlantic Coast Pipeline intended to carry natural gas across West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina would have some adverse environmental effects, including effects on water resources, forest, and other habitats, but most could be reduced to insignificant levels, an assessment by federal regulators found.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees interstate natural gas pipelines, released its final environmental impact statement on 21 July for the proposed 600-mile pipeline, which has broad support from political and business leaders but is staunchly opposed by environmentalists and many affected landowners.
The assessment found that the pipeline would also affect some endangered species in its path. But it concluded that, if developers use proper construction and mitigation techniques, most of environmental effects could be reduced to “less-than-significant” levels.
The leading company behind the USD 5 billion project called the assessment “favorable” and said it paved the way for final approval later this year.
“While some impacts on the environment and landowners are unavoidable with any infrastructure project, the report demonstrates that we’ve taken all necessary steps to minimize those impacts and balance them with the urgent public need for the project,” Leslie Hartz, Dominion Energy’s vice president for engineering and construction, said in a statement.
Environmental groups have argued that FERC’s process for approving pipelines is broken and doesn’t adequately evaluate the true need for additional infrastructure.
“FERC still hasn’t addressed the most basic question hanging over this project: Is it even needed?” Southern Environmental Law Center Senior Attorney Greg Buppert said in a statement. “It’s FERCs responsibility to determine if this pipeline is a public necessity before it allows developers to take private property, clear forests, and carve up mountainsides. Mounting evidence shows that it is not.”
The agency’s commissioners will weigh the environmental impact statement as well as whether the project meets a public need and whether its proposed gas rates are just and reasonable in making that decision, according to FERC spokeswoman Tamara Young-Allen.
Read the full story here
Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.
11 - 12 Sep 2019
- Bakersfield, California, USA
Combine engineering with computer programming in this 2-day course
1 Nov 2019
- Bali, Indonesia
Registration Coming Soon
9 - 11 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
The programme combines expert input, case studies, and immersive scenarios from the E&P and other industries to embed your learning and enable you to progress to the next level of your career.
10 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Safety Leadership focuses on the ‘Human Factors’ (HF) which complement technical training to optimize reliability, safety, compliance, efficiency and risks within a team-based environment.
This course will help you develop a better understanding of factors that could impact your daily economic decisions as well as establish a new set of applicable tools to use in your professional career.
Through this workshop, attendees will go through the different processes involved in strategic planning including the elements of organizational SWOT, business scenario and options development, elaboration of strategic options and communication to stakeholders.
3 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Being Human - reserve your place at this one-day course
HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.
©2003-2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All Rights Reserved.