Investments in infrastructure help lay the foundation for economic growth. Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources are planning the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), a 550-mile long natural gas pipeline that will traverse three states and several of the most economically challenged counties in North Carolina. The ACP is expected to be in service by late 2018.
The ACP will be a largely underground structure planned to run approximately 200 miles through Northampton, Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland and Robeson counties. There are huge economic implications for North Carolina with the construction of the pipeline. Even during construction, it is estimated the ACP would create more than $680 million in economic activity in North Carolina and support more than 4,400 jobs.
This new interstate natural gas pipeline will provide all of North Carolina with new access to an abundant supply of clean, reliable and competitively priced natural gas, which is a fundamental requirement of many modern business operations, especially manufacturing. In Eastern North Carolina, it can help accelerate economic development, enhance job creation opportunities, increase revenues, and stimulate corporate investment. Additionally, over a seven-year period, the project is estimated to generate roughly $730,000 in new annual property tax revenues for Halifax County for the proposed 24 miles of pipeline in our county.
Natural gas pipelines are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the oversight is very detailed and rigorous. Federal and state environmental agencies provide input to determine public need for any pipeline’s construction. That process is ongoing in North Carolina.
Safety is an obvious concern, although that worry is greatly alleviated by the underground construction, testing, and inspections planned for the pipeline and the national experience with natural gas pipelines, which are known for safety, efficiency and reliability. More than 2.6 million miles of pipeline across the United States deliver natural gas to about 72 million homes and business every day, rarely with a problem.
The Halifax County Economic Development Commission has confidence Dominion and its partners will build and operate the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in an efficient, safe, and environmentally sound manner. Considering the potential impact for our state, and especially, Eastern North Carolina, we look forward to the day the first 40-foot sections of this pipeline cross the North Carolina border.
Cathy A. Scott,
Halifax County Economic Development Commission
Read the full letter in The Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids.