Dominion spokesperson describes construction

When the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, released its update on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline over ten days ago, Allegheny Mountain Radio spoke with Aaron Ruby, media specialist for Dominion Transfer, to see how well the federal process was dovetailing with corporate plans.

“Obviously that’s going to dictate, what our construction schedule looks like, when we are going to be able to begin construction, specifically. And so, what we’re doing, and what we are going to take the next few weeks to do is working with various expert construction contractors to evaluate what does a feasible, realistic construction schedule look like. When would we be able to start, and when would realistically be able to complete construction and have the pipeline in service? And so, we’re going to be looking very closely at that over the next few weeks, and as we finalize our construction schedule we’ll be providing more information about that to the public. ”

Because I had read Dominion is making a variety of efforts to accelerate the process of review and responding, I had to inquire.

“You’re not trying to start construction prior to any permits?”

“No, Certainly not. So, we can’t begin construction until we have all of the state, federal authorizations that we need.”

Although there are endless photographs, on Dominion’s and other websites, I wanted to understand just how six hundred miles of clearing and trenching will work.

“How will the public know when exactly construction is beginning? Are you going to be working from West to East or . . . ?”

“So, let me just give you a high level overview of how construction of a pipeline works. So, we don’t build the pipeline necessarily in a linear, chronological fashion. So we’re not going to begin, let’s say in northern West Virginia, and then just work our way south until we get to North Carolina, and likewise we’re not just going to begin in Southern North Carolina and work our way all the way up to the north in kind of a linear fashion. We build the pipeline in sections, or we call them spreads. And these can be, you know, depending on the terrain, and other conditions, spreads can be anywhere from thirty to fifty or even seventy miles. We’re building more than one spread at a time. But those spreads may not necessarily be adjacent to each other. So we could be building a spread in West Virginia at the same time that we’re building a spread somewhere in Virginia, and similarly in North Carolina.”

And how long could this project take?

“The entire construction process we have estimated could take somewhere around eighteen months, to build the entire six hundred mile pipeline, but for each individual spread, for the most part, you know we’ll complete construction in the matter of a few months.”

And are different construction companies going to be working on the different spreads at different times, of do you sort of have overall just one mega construction company that has different crews?”

“That’s one of the things that we’re evaluating right now, and that’s going to be one of the things that’s going to impact, what the construction schedule looks like. So, at this point I can’t say whether there’s going to be just one large construction contractor, or if we are going to be using multiple contractors. That’s one of the things that we are evaluating right now.”

It appears there is still plenty of evaluation ahead for both FERC, and Dominion. And Aaron Ruby reminds listeners:

“FERC is going to host a series of public meetings in communities throughout the route, and anyone has the ability to submit comments to FERC in writing.”



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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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