RALEIGH — Dominion Energy says it is still on track to finish its $5 billion Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to N.C. by late 2019. The response from the company came after the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied Dominion’s March 15 request for more time to cut trees.
“We have a path forward to begin construction this spring and complete the project by the end of 2019,” Aaron Ruby, a spokesman for Dominion, said in an email. Ruby said Dominion has completed tree felling on more than 200 miles of the 600-mile route.
“While that’s less than we planned for this year, we’ll still have a productive construction season,” Ruby said, noting the company would rearrange some of its construction plans and shift some work to 2019.
Virginia lifts its tree-clearing restrictions on migrating habitats on Aug. 30 for birds and Sept. 15 for bats, according to a release by the Sierra Club, which opposes construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
FERC’s “decision is a win for the people and communities in the path of this destructive project,” said Kelly Martin, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, in a statement.
The pipeline is designed to carry about 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to customers in Virginia and North Carolina. The 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas is enough to fuel about 7.5 million U.S. homes for a day.