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FERC Seeks New Round of Comments on Atlantic Coast Route Changes

FERC is seeking additional comments and has opened a new scoping period to examine route changes and facility modifications made for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC (ACP).

In an order Tuesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it will be seeking a new round of comments on environmental issues specific to route revisions and facility modifications made to ACP [CP15-554] since it filed for a construction certificate last fall (see Daily GPI, Sept. 18, 2015).

With plans to transport Appalachian Basin gas from Harrison County, WV, into Virginia and North Carolina, the 1.5 Bcf/d greenfield ACP is 96% subscribed under 20-year customer agreements and targeting a late 2018 in-service date (see Daily GPI, March 23).

ACP backer Dominion Transmission Inc. had to substantially rework the project’s original planned route to avoid certain areas of the George Washington and Monongahela national forests along the Virginia/West Virginia border after the U.S. Forest Service raised concerns about potential impacts to protected species and sensitive habitats (see Daily GPI, Feb. 12; Jan. 22; Dec. 16, 2015; Dec. 9, 2015).

Including a number of other route adjustments, ACP’s total proposed length has increased to 599.7 miles from 556 miles, and its proposed compressor station in Buckingham County, VA, has increased from 40,715 hp to 53,515 hp.

FERC has scheduled two scoping meetings -- in Marlinton, WV, on May 20 and in Hot Springs, VA, on May 21 -- along ACP’s revised route. FERC conducted a series of scoping meetings along ACP’s original proposed route during the pre-filing process last year.

FERC will be accepting written comments on the route changes through June 2.

ACP completed its responses last month to a series of supplemental requests for information related to its proposed revisions and modifications, with the project now awaiting a draft environmental impact statement from FERC (see Daily GPI, April 18).

Like other greenfield pipeline projects in recent years, ACP has faced opposition from environmental groups and some landowners, having to turn to the courts in certain cases to gain access to conduct survey work (see Daily GPI, Feb. 4).

Meanwhile, a group of Virginia lawmakers recently came out in support of the project, which backers say will be needed to meet projected demand growth in the Southeast (see Daily GPI, March 16).

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