Pipeline Prospects: Where does it go from here?

Plans to build two large pipelines through some of Virginia’s scenic farmland and forests have raised serious environmental concerns.  Builders say the work can be done with minimal damage to the land and water, but critics say that’s impossible. 

In this 5-part series, Sandy Hausman explores key questions that face Virginia.  Can pipelines really be built through mountains without polluting water?  What is Dominion's track record with projects of this kind?  Is the Atlantic Coast Pipeline really needed?  Can Virginia effectively regulate construction, and what does an unpopular project like this mean for the state's most influential corporation?

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Dominion Energy has long been considered the most influential corporation in Virginia. Over the last 20 years, it has given nearly 11 million dollars to candidates running for office in this state, but Dominion may be losing its grip on lawmakers. 

Mallory Noe-Payne

One of the state’s most influential corporations and 35 banks hope to make money from the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  Business and labor groups have lined up behind it, as has Virginia’s governor, but opponents say it’s not a done deal. They plan to fight the pipeline in government hearings and in court.  

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Dominion Energy claims the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is urgently needed to accommodate growing demand for natural gas. Without it, the company warns Virginia’s economy will suffer. Pipeline opponents say that’s not the case.

atlanticcoastpipeline.com

The head of the Department of Environmental Quality was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe, a strong supporter of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  Under the Clean Water Act, DEQ could block construction of the pipeline if it felt the quality of our water would be damaged, but as Sandy Hausman reports, the agency may not have the will to do that.

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Plans to build two large pipelines through some of Virginia’s scenic farmland and forests have raised serious environmental concerns.  Builders say the work can be done with minimal damage to the land and water, but critics say that’s impossible.  In part one of a five-part series, Sandy Hausman looks at the main environmental concern – water.