Dominion Outlines Why Proposed Alternate Routes for Pipeline Aren't Feasible

Posted: Updated: Jun 20, 2016 04:40 PM
File Photo:  Natural Gas Pipeline File Photo: Natural Gas Pipeline
Sign protesting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's proposed path through a portion of Wintergreen Sign protesting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's proposed path through a portion of Wintergreen

Dominion Energy is detailing why it says it's impossible to build several alternative pipeline routes proposed by property owners at Wintergreen Resort.

Currently, Dominion's proposal brings the 3.5 foot-wide Atlantic Coast Pipeline right under the only road in and out of Wintergreen. 

In May, the group Friends of Wintergreen proposed four alternatives to Dominion's plan: have it run along Interstate 64 and over Afton Mountain, put it under existing Dominion power lines, have it travel along Route 56, or move the pipeline south of Wintergreen's entrance.

Aaron Ruby, a spokesman for the natural gas pipeline, says the group's proposals pose several construction challenges and cross federally-protected lands.

“A couple of the routes would cross areas or lands that are administered by the National Park Service in areas where that agency does not have administrative authority to permit pipeline crossings. So, as a matter of current law, those routes are not feasible, we can't adopt those routes.”

Dominion is standing by its proposal as the best route with the least impact on the environment and landowners. 

The pipeline still needs approval from the Federal Environmental Regulatory Commission before crews can begin breaking ground on the project. The commission is accepting comments on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline until June 10.

The company expects federal regulators to approve the pipeline early next year, with construction starting next summer.

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