Atlantic Coast Pipeline Submits Route Changes To Avoid Environmental Impacts, Address Stakeholder Concerns
RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, (Atlantic) today submitted additional information to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the 564-mile interstate natural gas transmission pipeline designed to meet the need for cleaner electricity generation, satisfy the growing demand for natural gas to heat homes and businesses, and promote consumer savings and economic growth.
The Supplemental Filing provides route alternatives, variations and adjustments developed since Atlantic submitted its formal application on Sept. 18, to minimize impacts of the proposed route on several environmental, historic and public land issues.
"We believe these route adjustments meet the project's critical need of supplying clean, inexpensive energy to public utility customers while protecting the environmental and cultural resources of communities along the route," said Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy, which is responsible for routing, building and operating the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, pending FERC approval. "While the route adjustments themselves are minor, they reflect Atlantic's strong and sincere commitment to listening to project stakeholders at every stage and addressing their concerns to improve the proposed route."
The adjustments include:
- The Cheat Mountain Route Variation: This would reduce potential impacts on Cheat Mountain salamander occupied habitat in the Monongahela National Forest in Randolph County, West Virginia;
- The Cow Knob Route Variation: Proposed at the request of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Atlantic would use horizontal directional drill (HDD) construction to avoid potential impacts on Cow Knob salamanders and their habitat in the George Washington National Forest on and in the vicinity of Shenandoah Mountain in Highland and Augusta counties, Virginia;
- The Warminster/Swift Island Route Variation: Atlantic would avoid impacts within a wetland mitigation site and potential impacts on the newly identified, proposed Warminster Rural Historic District, both along the James River in Nelson and Buckingham counties, Virginia;
- The Great Dismal Swamp Major Route Alternative: Proposed at the request of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Atlantic has further developed and is proposing an alternative route identified in the September filing to avoid crossing the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Atlantic would use HDD construction to cross under the Western Branch Reservoir as part of this alternative. The route would also avoid the Sunray Historic District.
Additionally, today's filing provides an update on the status of the environmental field surveys Atlantic has conducted along the proposed route, as well as the anticipated filing dates for survey reports. These include updates on archaeological field surveys and surveys for rare, threatened and endangered species.
The FERC is being asked to certify the public benefit and necessity of the project. The FERC and a number of cooperating agencies will examine fully a broad number of issues, including public safety, air quality, water resources, geology, soils, wildlife and vegetation, threatened and endangered species, land and visual resources, cultural and historic resources, noise, cumulative impacts and reasonable alternatives. The FERC staff is preparing a draft Environmental Impact Statement on the project.
About the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Dominion (NYSE: D), Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) and AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) formed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, to build and own the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The pipeline would transport abundant natural gas supplies from Harrison County, W.Va., southeast through Virginia with an extension to Chesapeake, Va., and south through central North Carolina to Robeson County. Pending regulatory approval, construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2016 and the pipeline is expected to be in service in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,400 megawatts of generation, 12,200 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,490 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 928 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international energy business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
About Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy services company primarily engaged in the distribution of natural gas to more than one million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation utility customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including customers served by municipalities who are wholesale customers. Our subsidiaries are invested in joint venture, energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural gas marketing, and regulated interstate natural gas transportation and storage, and regulated intrastate natural gas transportation businesses. More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available on the Internet at http://www.piedmontng.com/.
About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves more than one million retail customers through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. AGL Resources is a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.
SOURCE Dominion Resources