FERC Lifts Pipeline Construction Stop Work Order
Because so many people in our area have only heard rumors about the current status of the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, we interviewed someone who knows where things stand.
“Hi, this is Denise Campbell, the Community Liaison with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline”
Denise, where do we stand right now –I understand the construction has been delayed by FERC, and we keep hearing it is getting ready to start up again. Where does it stand right now?
“OK, we did receive a Back to Work Order last week” Campbell answered. “So, of course you know the rain has not been our friend –we’ve had quite a bit of rain as you know – but we were given the release from FERC to return to work. So crews are working. We have locations in Harrison and Lewis Counties, Upshur County, Southern Randolph County and, as you know, Pocahontas County. Of course, all of these yards are in different stages because some things were set up earlier in different areas. But there is activity going on in all of the yards, so we are back to work!”
What caused the delay in the first place?
“Well the Fourth Circuit Court had concerns regarding the National Park and the Fish and Wildlife Permit. They wanted to review those permits, seek out a little more information and clarification. So that’s what happened during that six week time period where we had the stop work order. And then the information that was needed to be given to FERC by the National Parks and the Fish and Wildlife were provided and then FERC issued that we would be able to go back to work.”
So everything is good now? You didn’t have to change anything because of this did you?
“There were some changes at the yard in Frost, which is, of course in Pocahontas County, because we still have a permit and an order that we are waiting on for the Mon Forest and the George Washington Forest. So that prevents us from doing any work there –Yard 3A is a little unique because it is a build that is in West Virginia and Virginia. So, with the upcoming weather change, there were layoffs in 3A –that’s what we call the Frost Yard. There were approximately fifty people laid off, and those people consisted of and the welders’ helpers because of the schedule, they are not going to be putting any pipe in the ground in 2018 out of the Frost 3A area.”
So the construction schedules have some revisions, I guess, because they delayed you pretty much through all the warm weather?
“Well, of course those six weeks. But ACP is still planning on being on time by getting gas flowing by December of (20)19. And of course, you and I recognize a project of this magnitude there’s always going to be little tweaks and changes. And we’ve had some hurdles we’ve had to go over, but one thing is this project has been thoroughly reviewed for public safety (and) environmental safety. Six-Hundred miles of pipeline, a five and a half billion dollar project, I guess it has to be expected you’d have some changes along the way.”
We will keep you posted on the progress of this construction as it proceeds along.