Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction stops

Regional

Work has stopped on the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.  

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a stop-work order last Friday to Dominion Energy on all portions of the 600-mile-long project.  Atlantic Coast Pipeline officials said they are working with the National Park Service to resolve the issues in the order and resume construction as soon as possible.

“The construction of this pipeline, from its very beginning, has been the most highly regulated construction of a pipeline in the industry’s history.  What that does for the public is guarantees that once this pipeline is in the ground that it is done to the highest environmental and safety standards that have ever been seen in our industry,” said Samantha Norris, Atlantic Coast Pipeline Spokesperson.

Norris released a statement regarding the stop order and it is described below: 

“We remain totally committed to building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in its entirety so we can fully deliver the project’s substantial economic and environmental benefits to communities across West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina.

We’re already working with the National Park Service and Fish & Wildlife Service to resolve the issues in FERC’s order and resume construction as soon as possible.  We’re confident the agencies can reissue the authorizations quickly and without causing unnecessary delay to the project. At the time of the FERC’s temporary stop-work order, construction of project facilities was in various stages.  The Interim Right-of-Way and Work Area Stabilization Plans for Supply Header and ACP submitted to the FERC describe the measures we will take to stabilize the work areas for each construction stage until construction is approved to start again.  Our priority is to safely implement this Stabilization Plan to minimize impacts.  This stabilization work needs to be completed as it is in the best interest of public safety and the environment.

During this Stop Work Order, contractors have been encouraged to stay in the area and be ready to return to work at a moment’s notice.  The local community should not see a significant impact to local businesses as long as the SWO is not unreasonably extended.  We are confident these issues can be resolved quickly without causing unnecessary delay to the project.

In the meantime, FERC has asked if there are portions of the project that should proceed immediately because they are not impacted by recent court rulings and could serve the public independently from other portions of the project.

We have responded by showing that substantial portions of the Supply Header project, and ACP in North Carolina–all areas not impacted by recent court rulings–could serve home heating and manufacturing needs independently from other portions temporarily impacted by the court ruling.  However, this is not a substitute for building the entire project, which will provide the full benefit of access to lower-cost Appalachian supplies.

These portions of the Supply Header project would provide additional natural gas supplies among multiple suppliers, markets, and other interconnecting pipelines.

Completing portions of the ACP in North Carolina would allow us to deliver a substantial portion of the ACP’s capacity to various markets where pipeline capacity is either severely constrained or nonexistent.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is critical to the economic and environmental future of our region.  Public utilities in our region are depending on this infrastructure to meet the real and urgent needs of the millions of customers they serve.  We are working as quickly as we can to get construction back underway on the entire project and avoid unnecessary delays.

Delaying this infrastructure will force consumers and businesses to pay higher energy costs.  it will slow down the transition to cleaner energy, and it will deprive public utilities of the reliable energy they need to heat the homes od a growing population and power local businesses.”

During this temporary stop-work order, contractors have been put on hold and encouraged to stay in the area to be ready once the stop order is lifted,” said Norris in her statement.

Stay with 12 News as we continue to follow this story.
 

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