Updated: North Carolina questions Atlantic Coast Pipeline environmental plan
Correction: A headline and body of the piece mischaracterized North Carolina's rejection of the erosion and sediment plan. The piece has also been updated to reflect additional information from Duke Energy.
- The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality questioned an environmental plan for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project Monday, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.
- In a letter, officials noted the erosion and sediment control plan submitted by the developers was inadequate. The companies can either submit a new plan or contest the rejection, the officials noted. Any decision on a new plan will come 15 days after submission. Duke Energy said they have plans to resubmit the information, and that they remain on track to start construction on time.
- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is also expected to issue a decision later this month on the project. The pipeline would carry fracked natural gas from West Virginia into North Carolina and Virginia, and would cost up to $5 billion.
North Carolina DEQ's action on the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline project is another delay for developers. State officials previously delayed a decision on the project until developers provided additional information about impacts to streams and wetlands.
The erosion and sediment plan is only one environmental hurdle, the Raleigh News & Observer noted. The project developers still have to secure an air quality permit and water quality permits before obtaining the go-ahead from the state. FERC already issued a favorable Final Environmental Impact Statement for the pipeline in July, and the news outlet reports FERC's final decision on the necessity of the project will likely occur this month.
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. The project is a joint effort between Dominion Energy and Duke Energy. Though the plans confine the pipeline to the original three states, an Associated Press report said a Dominion official revealed potential plans to expand the project beyond North Carolina.
However, a utility spokesman told the AP there are no plans to expand the pipeline for now.
- Raleigh News & Observer NC officials reject environmental plan for Atlantic Coast Pipeline
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