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Federation Asks for New Pipeline Assessment

The map shows the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which goes down from mines in West Virginia to eastern North Carolina. Photo: Atlantic Coast Pipeline

In a letter sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the North Carolina Coastal Federation said it believes a new Draft Environmental Impact Statement should be conducted on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a project that would run through West Virginia, Virginia and into North Carolina.

Individuals, communities and organizations had until April 6 to submit comments regarding the proposed $5 billion, 600-mile natural gas pipeline planned to extend into North Carolina. On its way down, it will cut through rivers, wetlands and farmlands in eight eastern counties in the state: Northampton; Halifax; Nash; Wilson; Johnston; Sampson; Cumberland; and Robeson.

The federation sent a comment letter to Nathaniel J. Davis, the deputy secretary of the commission, which approves and manages interstate transmissions of energy and electricity, alleging that documents from the draft environmental study were missing. The most notable missing filing, according to the letter, is a request from the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Department of Environmental Quality for a completed biological survey for sensitive and state-listed species.

In addition, the federation notes that 15.2 miles on the project site have not been surveyed at all.

“The Federation finds this information absolutely essential to the validity of the DEIS document,” the letter states; “the DEIS should not be considered complete until these remaining 15.2 miles are surveyed.”

Groups have formed to oppose the controversial pipeline, including one called No Pipeline Johnston County.

According to Dominion Power, which is one of the utilities invested in the pipeline, the project will “create new jobs, maintain cleaner air, and provide lower prices to heat and power homes and businesses.”

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.