Having received most of its state and federal approvals, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is gearing up for full construction this spring. After nearly four years of exhaustive review, more than a dozen state and federal agencies have given the greenlight for the project to move forward.
Since receiving federal approval to begin pre-construction work in January, the project has completed tree felling and vegetation clearing along more than 200 miles of the 600-mile route. Some limited construction work at compressor stations and other facilities is already underway as well. With only a few approvals remaining, full construction on the entire project is just months away.
Meanwhile, the project is taking other steps to prepare for spring construction. All of the steel pipe needed to build the project has been produced, and most of the project’s contractors are on board. Trade unions and community colleges across the three states are busy training and hiring the workforce, which will include thousands of trades and craftsmen from the local communities along project’s route.
Here are some recent permits and approvals for the project:
- A limited notice to proceed from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin tree felling and vegetation clearing in areas planned for construction in 2018.
- State water quality permit from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
- Erosion and sediment control permits from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the North Carolina DEQ.
- Air quality permit from the North Carolina DEQ for the Northampton County compressor station.
- Federal water permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Other permits from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The project expects to receive all remaining approvals in time to begin full construction this spring and summer, with completion of the project expected in late 2019.
What Went into the ACP Permitting Process?
The ACP has gone through an extensive, four-year review process led by FERC–the federal agency responsible for overseeing the environmental review and approval process–in coordination with more than a dozen local, state and federal agencies. These agencies thoroughly examined all potential impacts to land, air, water, cultural and historic resources, and wildlife in the region. To evaluate these impacts, FERC reviewed more than 100,000 pages of regulatory reports and over 75,000 public comments.
As part of this review, the ACP project team evaluated more than 6,000 miles of potential routes and made hundreds of route adjustments to avoid environmentally sensitive areas and address individual landowner requests. They continue to work with regulators at every level to ensure the pipeline will be built safely and responsibly.
Following this in-depth process, FERC approved the project in October 2017, concluding that it will serve a vital public need and be built with minimal impacts to the environment.
For further updates on the permitting and construction process, please visit AtlanticCoastPipeline.com.