Special use permits approved

Published 11:33 am Tuesday, February 14, 2017

JACKSON – As plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) move forward, Northampton County will benefit from that multi-state project.

Last week, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners gave their approval special use permits that will allow the ACP partners to construct and staff an Operations Center as well as construct a compression station on a shared site near Pleasant Hill.

The vote by the commissioners was unanimous.

The Operation Center in Northampton County will serve as the main office for the entire pipeline – a 550-mile interstate natural gas pipeline that would serve multiple public utilities and their growing energy needs in Virginia and North Carolina. The pipeline originates in West Virginia and ends in Fayetteville, NC.

The Operations Center will be approximately 6,600 square feet and will contain offices and conference rooms for nine full-time employees. Together, the office and compressor station will employ about 15-20 full-time employees.

The ACP project received an earlier endorsement from Northampton County officials. It also received resolutions of support from the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce and Halifax County Business Horizons, Inc.

By 2022, the ACP is projected to bring more than $1.3 million in tax revenue to Northampton County, and about $6 million annually to North Carolina as a whole.

Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources have partnered to build and own the proposed pipeline. Pending regulatory approval, construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2016 and the pipeline is expected to be in service in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The project includes a lateral extension that will branch off the main pipeline and travel northeast along the northern border of Northampton County before entering Virginia near Branchville. That extension will end in Chesapeake, VA.

One of three public comment sessions hosted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be held locally in Roanoke Rapids. That event is scheduled for 5-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 111 Carolina Crossroads Parkway, Roanoke Rapids.

On the same day, a press conference and “People’s Hearing” is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Mystique Events Center, located at 1652 NC HWY 125, Roanoke Rapids. That event is sponsored by the Concerned Citizens of Northampton County, Clean Water for NC.

The ACP project would be capable of delivering up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas to be used to generate electricity as well as heat homes and run local businesses. 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 company’s website at www.dom.com/acpipeline.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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