Bay Journal

Topics: Energy

Virginia gas pipeline project clears hurdle

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Developers of a disputed natural gas pipeline project across Virginia cleared a major regulatory hurdle recently, as the U.S. Forest Service gave its go-ahead to plans to tunnel through the Blue Ridge Mountains to avoid popular attractions like the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, meanwhile, left Atlantic Coast Pipeline opponents perplexed by seemingly contradictory statements about the degree of scrutiny state regulators intend to give to nearly 2,000 stream crossings planned along the project’s 600-mile route.

Dominion and three other energy companies are seeking federal and state approval to build a new gas transmission conduit from West Virginia to North Carolina to serve what they say are growing energy needs in the region. The consortium hopes to begin construction later this year. Meanwhile, opponents have weighed in over the past few months with complaints that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff did a poor job of evaluating the potential environmental harm the project could do.

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The case for a Maryland fracking ban (Opinion)

Note: the opinions expressed in this column are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bay Journal, its board or staff.   Next week, on Feb. 28, the Health, Education and Environmental Affairs Committee in...

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About Energy

Energy production has had a profound influence on the Chesapeake and its tributaries since European settlement. Settlers built thousands of dams across streams and rivers to provide power for mills and industry. More modern dams create hydroelectric power, but dramatically affect river ecosystems and close them to fish migration.

Combustion of fossil fuels is a major source of pollution to the Chesapeake, and activities such as drilling in the Marcellus Shale can affect stream health and permanently alter terrestrial habitats.

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