- North Carolina regulators have delayed a decision on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline proposal and gave project developers 30 days to provide additional information over potential impacts to streams and wetlands last week.
- According to Southeast Energy News, the state received more than 9,000 comments regarding the pipeline, with the vast majority opposed to the joint project between Dominion Energy and Duke Energy.
- The pipeline has sparked significant controversy along its route. The project would carry fracked natural gas from West Virginia into North Carolina and Virginia, and would cost up to $5 billion.
A decision was originally due Monday regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, but North Carolina regulators have given developers 30 days to provide additional information and 60 days for the state to assess the new information. This means a decision on the pipeline's fate is unlikely before the middle of December.
North Carolina's Division of Water Resources issued a Request for Additional Information, telling developers that "more site-specific detail is necessary to ensure downstream water quality is protected." The letter also criticized the project for a lack of specificity when it came to some water quality mitigation measures.
Sierra Club hailed the decision as a victory. Beyond Dirty Fuels Director Kelly Martin said in a statement that the pipeline, moving fracked gas, "would be a dirty, dangerous, expensive relic of a bygone era, and there’s no reason North Carolinians should foot the bill for an unnecessary project when clean, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are affordable and abundant here."
In July, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a favorable Final Environmental Impact Statement for the 600-mile pipeline, which would move gas from West Virginia into North Carolina and Virginia, and includes three planned compressor stations. The Washington Post predicts the pipeline is likely to be approved either this month or next.
The pipeline will cross roughly 2,900 private properties as well as the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, and the George Washington National Forest in Virginia.