Tuesday, 02 September 2014 15:31

Natural gas line would go through county

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About 24 miles of a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline will run through Halifax County, Dominion power officials told commissioners today.

The blue shows the initial proposed route through the county.

Currently the project, which will include a 42-inch diameter line West Virginia and Virginia; a 36-inch line in North Carolina and a 20-inch line in Hampton Roads, is in the planning process, said Michael Thompson, manager of state and local affairs for the company. A pre-filing request will be submitted before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the fall, with the formal application to be submitted next summer. Federal review of the project will go through the summer of 2016.

(A meeting on the proposal is scheduled for September 23 at The Centre on the campus of Halifax Community College. Times will be from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for landowners and 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for landowners and the general public. More information may be found by following this link)

The Associated Press reported today the proposal is a $5 billion project that will connect the Southeast with enormous supplies of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

The project is a joint venture with Duke Energy and other partners, the AP reported. Those partners include Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources.

The pipeline will have the capacity to carry 1.5 billion cubic feet per day and will have compressor stations located in West Virginia, Central Virginia and a third near the Virginia state line, but most likely in Northampton County, Thompson said.

“The pipeline would provide a dependable supply of natural gas for electric utilities in the region looking to use natural gas for electric utilities in the region looking to use natural gas as a cleaner option to generate electricity,” the company said in a fact sheet on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

While the AP is reporting there is opposition forming against the proposal, Thompson said during a break in today's meeting the proposal is still in exploratory stages to identify any environmental setbacks that could stand in the project's way. That process, he said, will take from this year to 2016.

Of the 24 miles in Halifax County, about 91 percent of landowners have given the company permission to study their land.

Halifax County Glynn Rollins explained at this point no right of ways have been granted.

The company said in the fact sheet a final route has not been chosen. “Dominion will determine the best route based on landowner input and assessment of environmental, historic and cultural impacts.”

Commissioner Rives Manning suggested the company explore using existing power line routes it has in the county. “I don't like to see the right of way ruining our landscape. I'm in favor of you using your right of ways.”

Thompson said he would take the suggestion under advisement.

Cathy Scott, executive director of the Halifax County Development Commission, said the organization supports the effort, as it could help industrial sites in the county that are natural gas certified.

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