ACP resumes construction

Published 12:38 pm Monday, October 1, 2018

Construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is back underway.

On Sept. 17, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its authorization to resume project construction. This came following several months of inactivity on the project via an order from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals while a more thorough evaluation was performed to ensure that no federally protected species would be impacted by the pipeline.

“We are pleased to get back to work on this very important public infrastructure project,” stated ACP spokesperson Aaron Ruby. “With FERC’s approval we are mobilizing our crews immediately to resume construction as authorized.

“We commend the Fish & Wildlife Service and National Park Service for promptly addressing the issues raised by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and FERC’s Stop Work Order,” Ruby added. “The agencies have reaffirmed that the project does not threaten any federally protected species and is consistent with the public use of the Blue Ridge Parkway.”

Donning Atlantic Coast Pipeline hardhats, Northampton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robert Carter (left) and Northampton Economic Development Director Gary Brown were among those taking part in a groundbreaking ceremony in April near Pleasant Hill, the site of the ACP’s office and compressor station.

In a phone call with the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Ruby said the local portion of the pipeline construction, which crosses the western edge of Northampton County, has resumed operations.

“We’re starting mechanical clearing of trees and debris in Northampton and Halifax counties this week,” he noted. “That will take a couple weeks before we start grading the right of way. That should take another couple weeks or so, and then we’ll start stringing and welding the pipe on the right of way. We’ll also start trenching in some areas around the same time.”

He added that public utilities in Virginia and North Carolina are depending on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to meet the growing energy needs of consumers and businesses. The project remains on track for completion by the end of next year, which will allow public utilities to meet growing demand for cleaner electricity, residential home heating and power for local businesses.

“The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been the most thoroughly reviewed infrastructure project in the history of our region. The additional scrutiny we’ve recently received from the courts and the agencies are further evidence of the high standard that is being applied to the project,” Ruby remarked.

The ACP, which originates in West Virginia, will pass through eight, eastern North Carolina counties.

In Northampton, the project calls for the construction of a compressor station and main office near Pleasant Hill. This will create about 22 new jobs.

Northampton County is projected to receive about $1.6 million per year in tax revenue from the pipeline once it is in service.

Dominion Energy along with Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and Southern Gas Company are partnering to build and operate the 600-mile natural gas pipeline.

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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