Atlantic Coast Pipeline Files For Construction

On Friday, September 18th, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC ,formally applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to build a 564-mile interstate natural gas transmission pipeline through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is being asked to certify the public benefit and necessity of the project. The FERC and a number of participating 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 ACP  noted the  suppotr the project has received from from Govs. Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia, Terry McAuliffe of Virginia and Pat McCrory of North Carolina. Governor Tomblin issued a statement to ACP, saying “ Finding markets for the abundant natural gas supply in West Virginia is a positive step, and I remain optimistic that we will be able to capitalize on the gas and its byproducts to expand manufacturing in our state. As this process continues, I look forward to working with officials from Dominion and their partners to ensure appropriate community involvement and maximize opportunities to provide natural gas service to areas of West Virginia that need it.”

According to Dominion, it has completed surveying about 85 percent of a proposed route – Atlantic will file supplemental information with the FERC when surveying is completed and propose a final route..

The 30,000 page application and resource reports are available on the ACP website,, and the FERC website. Digital copies will be placed in public libraries along the route.

Almost immediately following the release, the Allegheny Blue-Ridge Alliance, a coalition of 43 organizations concerned with the pipeline’s construction, issued their own release in opposition to the project. Concerns were raised by Lewis Freeman of Highlanders for Responsible Development, Nancy Sorrels of the Augusta County Alliance, Rick Webb of the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition and Greg Buppert of the Southern Law Environmental Center.

According to the ARBE, the National Forest Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Virginia’s United States Senator Tim Kaine have also asked FERC to consider a more comprehensive approach to proposals involving these four pipeline projects and their cumulative impacts on the region.

For the full text of the response and other information, visit their website at Highlanders for Responsible Development plans a presentation and discussion at Sunday, September 27th’s annual meeting at 2pm at The Highland Center pavilion.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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