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HDD proposed on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Energy transporter Dominion is proposing to run the natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline underground to reduce impacts to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and to protect the Cow Knob salamander.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline has submitted additional information to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the 564 mile interstate natural gas transmission pipeline.

The filing provides route alternatives, variations and adjustments developed since Atlantic submitted its formal application on 18 September to minimise impacts of the proposed route on several environmental, historic and public land issues.

The adjustments include a proposal to use horizontal directional drilling construction to cross under the Western Branch Reservoir and to avoid potential impacts on Cow Knob salamanders and their habitat in the George Washington National Forest on and in the vicinity of Shenandoah Mountain in Highland and Augusta counties in Virginia.

The FERC is being asked to certify the public benefit and necessity of the project. The FERC and a number of cooperating agencies will examine fully a broad number of issues, including public safety, air quality, water resources, geology, soils, wildlife and vegetation, threatened and endangered species, land and visual resources, cultural and historic resources, noise, cumulative impacts and reasonable alternatives. The FERC staff is preparing a draft Environmental Impact Statement on the project.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been designed to meet the need for cleaner electricity generation, satisfy the growing demand for natural gas to heat homes and businesses, and promote consumer savings and economic growth.

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