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FERC clears Atlantic Coast pipeline to proceed with Va. tree-felling activities


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FERC clears Atlantic Coast pipeline to proceed with Va. tree-felling activities

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC and Dominion Energy Transmission Inc. authorization Oct. 16 to proceed with tree-felling activities at the 1.5 Bcf/d pipeline project's Buckingham Compressor Station and Woods Corner Metering and Regulating in Buckingham County, Va.

Tree felling had been on hold from the spring until the end of August because of seasonal restrictions to protect migratory birds and species listed under the Endangered Species Act. The commission also issued a stop-work order that further caused delays, which followed a 4th Circuit decision striking National Park Service authorization to cross under the Blue Ridge Parkway and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service incidental take statement designed to limit impacts to endangered species. After the documents were reissued, FERC lifted its order.

The appeals court in late September also granted a stay of a U.S. Forest Service permit that allowed the project to cross national forests in West Virginia and Virginia, which was requested by environmental groups. (U.S. Appeals Court for the 4th Circuit docket 18-1144)

The 600-mile pipeline is designed to carry Appalachian gas to mid-Atlantic and Southern markets, running from West Virginia through Virginia and North Carolina. The project is a joint venture of Dominion Energy Inc., Duke Energy Corp. and Southern Co. units. (FERC dockets CP15-554-000, CP15-554-001, CP15-555-000)