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Landowners Appear in Court to Dispute Progression of Pipeline

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

More than 25 landowners are disputing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in a Lynchburg courtroom February 26. 

The controversial project has been debated in several courtrooms, delaying construction. Now, pipeline officials are approaching a tight deadline for initial work to be underway. 

The pipeline project director testified that the $6.5 billion project may be delayed an entire year, if crews cannot meet construction deadlines due to court cases.

Experts are concerned that the potential cost increase due to delays could be at a cost to utility customers on future bills.  

The judge is taking up more than 2 dozen separate cases dealing with land disputes for the pipeline in Augusta, Buckingham, Cumberland, and Highland counties. Pipeline officials are attempting to access these properties, in order to move forward with the project.

Several area landowners packed the court room February 26 to say no to this costly project, arguing it could hurt utility customers. 

The pipeline is expected to stretch 600 miles in length and bring 90 permanent jobs to Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia.
     
Pipeline officials have started work on tree felling, but if it's not completed by March 13, construction will be pushed back several months.