After Months of Delay, Atlantic Coast Pipe Gets NC Water Permit

Atlantic Coast Pipeline path through North Carolina – click for larger version

On Friday, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a federal stream/water crossing permit for Dominion’s $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP)–a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and slice through the midsection of North Carolina, almost to the border with South Carolina. The permit comes more than a year and a half after Dominion and their partners filed an application for it. It is the final “biggie” permit required to construct the project in NC. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved ACP last October (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects). West Virginia previously issued a water crossing permit for the project, and Virginia recently granted a conditional approval for its water crossing permit. NC was the last domino to fall, and now it has. However, the project is still not out of the woods in NC just yet. First, the DEQ attached all sorts of extra requirements to the water permit they issued. Second, even though a water/stream crossing permit is the biggest and most important permit, NC continues to delay the project by withholding other permits (see NC Continues to Delay Atlantic Coast Pipe, Rejects Part of Erosion Plan). Friday’s water permit issuance was, however, a very positive development–a signal that the rest of the permits although delayed, will be forthcoming. Dominion said it will begin construction in NC (and VA and WV) this year, and finish the project sometime in 2019…

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