Dominion Chooses Alternate Segments for Proposed Pipeline Route
Dominion Resources and its partners have identified some alternate routes in Augusta and Nelson counties for portions of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Dominion Resources and its partners have identified some alternate routes for portions of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The alternates are located in Augusta and Nelson counties and are believed to have less impact to environmental, historic and cultural resources.
Dominion still needs to survey more properties in those areas and has sent letters to those landowners asking permission.
"We've made hundreds of alterations to the route. And really it just comes down to feedback from landowners, other residents, government officials, and state and federal agencies because they know their property better than anyone else. And our ultimate goal is to find the best route with the least impact to the environment,” said Dominion spokesperson Frank Mack.
Details on the alternate routes will be laid out in 12 resource reports to be filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this month.
Dominion will propose a final route later this summer.
Dominion Resources News Release:
· Segments potentially have less impact to environmental, historic and cultural resources than initial route
· Surveys still needed along alternates in two Virginia counties
· About 83 percent of total route surveyed; final survey push beginning with additional landowner contact
RICHMOND, Va. – The Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC is announcing today that it has identified several alternate route segments as potentially having the least impact to environmental, historic and cultural resources and they are being incorporated into the proposed route of its approximately 550-mile interstate natural gas transmission pipeline across three states.
“ACP has been listening to landowners, federal and state agencies and surveying to find the route with the least impact. While we have not surveyed them yet, we have determined there are several alternate segments that may have less of an impact than the initially proposed route,” said Leslie Hartz, vice president-Pipeline Construction for Dominion Transmission Inc., which is responsible for engineering and overseeing the pipeline's construction. “Surveying is necessary to determine the final route.”
The ACP LLC, a corporation formed by Dominion (NYSE: D), Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) and AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), is proposing to build the $4.5 billion to $5 billion pipeline to serve multiple public utilities and their urgent energy needs in Virginia and North Carolina. The natural gas transported safely by this project will be used to generate electricity as well as to heat homes and run local businesses. By providing access to low-cost natural gas supplies from a diverse set of producing regions, the ACP will increase the reliability and security of natural gas supplies in Virginia and North Carolina.
Detailed information about the identified alternate segments will be presented in the drafts of 12 Resource Reports that will be filed this month with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). A final proposed route will be included in the formal FERC application later this summer.
The identified alternate segments that are being incorporated into the proposed route are located in two Virginia counties, Augusta and Nelson. Landowners would know them as the Augusta Industrial Park variation, the Appalachian Trail South alternate, the East of Lovingston Connector alternate and the East of Lovingston alternate.
Atlantic has begun contacting Virginia landowners of the identified alternate segments and other remaining segments that have not given permission to survey their properties, asking again for their permission so the company can find the best route with the least impact.
Atlantic is following a Virginia law that requires an initial letter be sent to landowners requesting permission to survey. If permission is not granted in response to this request, companies then are required to send a notice of intent to enter the property prior to performing the surveys.
Atlantic has elected to do more than is required by Virginia law to ensure that every landowner has ample opportunity to be heard. If permission is denied again, rather than send crews to survey, the company will initiate legal action and ask the courts to affirm the Virginia law. Overall, landowners of about 83 percent of the entire route have given the company permission to survey.
“No one knows their property better,” said Hartz. “It is in their best interest for them to allow us to survey and talk with them about the land's unique characteristics. We have looked at more than 3,000 miles of potential routes and have adjusted the route hundreds of times as a result of surveys and discussions with landowners. Surveying the few parcels that remain will give us the best information to assess impact.”
Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC was created to develop, own and operate the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The underground pipeline project would facilitate cleaner air, increase reliability and security of natural gas supplies, and provide a significant economic boost in Virginia and North Carolina. For more information about the ACP, visit the project website at www.dom.com/acpipeline.
ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE ALTERNATE SEGMENTS CHOSEN FOR PROPOSED ROUTE
Augusta Industrial Park Variation
Atlantic identified and evaluated a minor route variation in Augusta County to avoid a proposed industrial development near the town of Stuarts Draft as requested by the Augusta County Planning Commission. While the route variation is a little longer, crosses a little more forested land and crosses two additional intermittent waterbodies than the proposed route, it meets the request of the Augusta County Planning Commission by heading south of an existing Target Distribution Center and avoiding the proposed industrial area.
Appalachian Trail South Alternative The pipeline must cross the Appalachian Trail (AT) as it continues from West Virginia through Virginia and on to North Carolina. Many other natural gas pipelines, electric transmission lines and other infrastructure projects already cross the trail.
After discussions with stakeholders, Dominion identified another viable route on a section of the AT that is in the George Washington National Forest, about 8 miles southwest of the proposed crossing. We have been granted permission from GWNF officials to survey this alternate route. On this alternate route, Dominion is evaluating the use of Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD) construction to install the ACP well below both the AT and the Blue Ridge Parkway, with no trees removed and no long-term visual impacts. While the construction is more challenging and several more roads are crossed, this alternate route would be about shorter and cross fewer water bodies than the proposed route. It would change the route in eastern Augusta County to align with one end of the boring.
East of Lovingston Connector Alternate If the AT South Alternative is selected for crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains after surveying, the ACP must connect with the East of Lovingston Alternate route or rejoin the initial route in Nelson County.
East of Lovingston Alternate Many Nelson County landowners and residents asked us to consider avoiding the areas damaged by Hurricane Camille in planning the ACP route. This alternate route avoids areas identified by The Nature Conservancy as critical habitat, Davis Creek, and areas that were hardest hit by Hurricane Camille in 1969. This alternate route would straighten out the proposed route east of Lovingston, the Nelson County seat, and is shorter than the proposed route.