Virginia regulators have cleared the controversial $6 billion Atlantic Coast pipeline project, allowing workers to begin construction on its 300-mile track after approval of three environmental protection plans.
According to the Washington Post, the state Department of Environmental Quality said it had signed off on plans to “control erosion and sediment, manage water runoff,” and limit damage to certain mountainous areas.
Dominion Energy, one of the project’s lead companies, said it will seek final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commision to get work started.
“This is a major step forward for the project,” Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby said in a news release. “We’re eager to get to work in Virginia so we can build on the significant progress we’ve made in West Virginia and North Carolina.”
The pipeline will run about 600 miles from West Virginia, and into North Carolina. Another project, the Mountain Valley pipeline, received similar approval a year ago and is further along in construction. That project stretches 300 miles from West Virginia into North Carolina.
Environmentalists have protested both projects, resulting in several legal challenges that have placed delays on the projects multiple times over the course of the year. As of now, the Atlantic Coast pipeline faces the scrutiny of the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board, set to act on an air control permit sometime next month.
Source: The Washington Post