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West Virginia waives water quality permits for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection waived the 401 individual certification for Dominion Energy Inc.'s $5.1 billion Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline project.

The state agency said Dec. 6 that it waived the 401 Water Quality Certification for the pipeline. The state's environmental requirements would be mirrored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' nationwide permit. With the nationwide permit, enforcement will be left to federal agencies and limited to stream crossings. The Clean Water Act Section 401 water permit regulates projects that have the potential to discharge waste into waterways.

The department also said it will host two public hearings for the pipeline project's construction stormwater permit in December.

"This should assure all West Virginians that the pipeline will be built safely and in a way that protects the state's water quality," Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby said.

The Dominion-led 1.5-Bcf/d project will run about 600 miles through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. The project is a joint venture of Dominion, Duke Energy Corp., Southern Co. Gas and Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc., and will provide mid-Atlantic and Southeast markets access to Appalachian gas supplies. (FERC docket CP15-554)