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Whither the Atlantic Coast Pipeline?

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Construction (Copyright by ACP)

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), forecasted to stretch some 966-km through West Virginia, Virginia and ultimately into North Carolina, hit more snags in North Carolina, slowing the approval process down and causing some to wonder if the estimated $5.5 billion, 42 inch gas pipeline will ever be built.

Despite obtaining approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in October 2017, environmental concerns are still the major stumbling block before the project can begin.

Specifically, North Carolina's Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources rejected the erosion and sediment control plan for the northern portion of the pipeline's route across the state and is asking for more information. The Division of Air Quality in December also requested additional information from the pipeline developer, and is now reviewing an air quality modeling report provided by ACP.

Earlier this month, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) asked FERC to grant rehearing of the two pipeline certificates it approved last year, noting that when the agency made the decision it had just three regulators rather than a full complement of five.

ACP's growing difficulties are compounding an already tight market, where the pipelines serving the region are fully tapped and unable to keep up with consumer demand.

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