By Sarah Lasky, Powered by Facts Intern
- It is a 600-mile underground interstate natural gas pipeline that would stretch from Harrison County, West Virginia to North Carolina.
- It is owned by Atlantic Coast, which is made up of four major energy companies who work together to fund, develop, construct and operate the ACP:
- Dominion Energy,
- Duke Energy,
- Piedmont Natural Gas, and
- Southern Company Gas.
- The pipeline would range from a 42-inch diameter to a 20-inch diameter pipeline, with a Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP) of 1,440 pounds per square inch gage (psig)
- Currently, Atlantic Coast states that the natural gas will feed Mid-Atlantic and Southeast customers
- Current ACP plans have it running through the George Washington, Jefferson and Monongahela National Forests of Virginia and West Virginia
- In order for the ACP to be built in the National Forests, the long-term management plan of all three forests needs to be considered, which means that Atlantic Coast officials need to use existing utility corridors and avoid fragmenting rare plant terrain. The route was rerouted in order to avoid sensitive environmental areas, which added 40 miles to the pipeline
In addition to public lands, the ACP would cut through private lands, which has several landowners worried because Dominion seems to be ignoring their state-sponsored conservation easements. A conservation easement is a tool that is used to protect a variety of important natural resources. The easement is used in order to deter future development and undesirable land uses, but continuing to allow private landownership. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation holds 3,835 easements, which totals more than 750,000 acres and Dominion has offered to donate two parcels that will total around 1,200 acres in the hopes of offsetting the intrusion of the pipeline on protected lands. Although land swaps are allowed in the state, it is required to be consistent with the locality’s comprehensive plan, and many locals along the pathway have clearly shared their opposition to the pipeline.
We encourage your comments and questions about our posts about the ACP. Please stay tuned as we take a deep dive into the economics of the pipeline and the pros and cons to the ratepayer.