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Atlantic Coast project opponents ask court to review water permit

Opponents of the Dominion Energy Inc.-led Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline asked a Virginia court to knock down the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality's water quality permit for the project.

The groups Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition, Bold Alliance and Preserve Craig filed a petition for appeal on June 5 with the Virginia Circuit Court for the City of Richmond. The groups want to overturn the state agency's decision to issue a water quality certificate for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permit 12. The Army Corps permit, which regulates pipeline construction in and adjacent to Virginia waters, was issued in March.

The groups claimed the Department of Environmental Quality issued the certification without the proper authority. They said it lacked certain analyses and did not consider "adverse evidence in the record." They said the department improperly notified the public about the certificate, failed to provide sufficient time for public input and did not consider important local factors of state waters.

"The activities permitted under the certification would harm the uses of state waters, for domestic uses, recreational, aesthetic and scientific interests," the groups said. (Virginia Circuit Court for the City of Richmond docket CL17002691-00)

The 600-mile pipeline is a joint project between Dominion, Southern Co. Gas, Duke Energy Corp. and Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. The line would deliver about 1.5 MMDth/d of gas from West Virginia through Virginia and North Carolina. (FERC docket CP15-554)