NC DEQ Rejects Plan for Atlantic Coast Pipeline – What’s Next?

North Carolina has become the first state to complete an environmental evaluation for Dominion’s proposed $5 billion, 594-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP)–a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. ACP is slated to run through eight NC counties. After completing it’s evaluation, the NC Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a rejection letter (copy below) for the project. The reason? The DEQ says the erosion and sediment control plan for the project is not up to scratch. Dominion can now do two things: Revise the erosion and sediment control plan and resubmit it, or contest the DEQ’s rejection of the existing plan. Although antis are rejoicing at the news, there really isn’t much here in the way of news. This is not uncommon in pipeline reviews. A government agency (federal or state) will push back on some aspect of the plan, the project builder will modify the plan, and the modified plan will pass muster and life goes on. That’s the way it works. The DEQ is (presumably) doing it’s job and not simply looking for an excuse to reject the project. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt–this time. Although we’ve not read that Dominion has responded to the rejection, another partner in the project, Duke Energy, has responded–saying they will provide the necessary information the DEQ says is missing in the original plan…

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