Atlantic Coast Pipeline Debate Continues Over Mountaintop Removal

Apr 28, 2017

Pipeline opponents are worried about what Dominion may have to remove from mountainous regions in order to make way for construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion says its methods are solid and are backed by the the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Credit Ted Hodges / Flickr

The debate over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline continues, and as Nick Gilmore reports, environmental groups are still very concerned about how Dominion plans to deal with environmental impacts.

Pipeline opponents say that the current projected path goes through areas that are already prone to landslides, and any removal of sediment to make way for construction will only add to that problem.

Dan Shaffer, a spatial analyst with the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition, says the company will have issues with just what to do with all of that sediment

“The material is going to take up a lot more space once it’s broken up and pulled out of the ground, or cut off and put into a pile. The only way that you could remotely put it back ‘the way it was’ is to cut out rectangular slabs and number them and stack them, and obviously Dominion is not going to be doing that.”

Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby, however, says that the company has years of experience with construction in mountainous regions:

“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has thoroughly evaluated our steep slope program and the commission confirmed its effectiveness in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement that was released in December.

Construction on the pipeline is set to begin later this year barring any setbacks from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.