FAQs l ACP

Project FAQs


About The ACP

In the coming months we will decide the long-term plan for the pipe and other materials produced for the project.
In the coming months we will seek approval from FERC and other agencies, and review easement agreement provisions, to retire in place any pipe that has already been installed. This is a common practice for underground infrastructure. It is safe and does not pose a risk to the environment or public safety. In fact, there would be more environmental disturbance if we were to remove the pipe. Additionally, where appropriate, we will seek all necessary approvals to decommission project facilities.
In the coming months, we will seek approval from FERC and other agencies to complete restoration for areas of the right-of-way that have been disturbed. We will be evaluating the best way forward for resolving existing easement agreements and will work closely with landowners throughout the process.
No, the companies have no plans to seek cost recovery from customers for this project.
Our decision to cancel this project leaves longstanding challenges in Hampton Roads and eastern North Carolina unaddressed. The region will continue to experience chronic shortages of natural gas and utilities will continue having to interrupt service to large customers on cold winter days. Additionally, there continues to be a lack of infrastructure in the region for supporting major new economic development. This hinders the ability of existing businesses to grow and is an impediment to new businesses locating in the region.
Unfortunately, legal challenges filed by opponents of the project and regulatory uncertainty jeopardized many of the anticipated positive economic opportunities for the project. Dominion Energy and Duke have a history of partnerships with unions and our companies will continue to explore union partnerships for construction projects going forward.
No, natural gas remains an essential part of the clean energy strategies for both companies and the path to net zero emissions. Natural gas supports our ongoing transition from coal and allows us to bring more renewables on the grid by keeping the lights on when wind and solar are not generating electricity.
Approximately 30% of SHP main line pipeline was installed, and significant work has also occurred at three of four existing compressor stations. Given the construction completed to date and the positioning of SHP facilities in relation to DETI’s existing pipeline network, DETI will be evaluating potential options for use of some or all of the SHP going forward. DETI will become a part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy once the recently announced transaction closes. Read More

Benefits

Decades of research by numerous credible organizations has consistently shown that natural gas pipelines do not negatively impact residential property values, homeowners insurance rates or the ability to obtain a mortgage. Most recently, a 2016 study performed by Integra Realty Resources looked at several residential communities in Virginia, Mississippi, Ohio and Pennsylvania where existing natural gas pipelines are located. The study found no evidence of any negative impacts on property values, insurance rates or the availability of mortgages in those communities.The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has reviewed this extensive research over a number of years, in addition to performing its own independent analysis, and has consistently reached the same conclusion. The FERC reaffirmed these findings most recently in its 2014 review of the Constitution Pipeline, as well as in its December 2016 draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The current proposed route for the ACP covers 600 miles through a three-state region. If approved, just like landowners pay property taxes for their home and land, ACP will pay property taxes on the physical assets we would install underground. The property owner is still responsible for paying property taxes on the land about the pipeline. ACP would also pay property taxes on the compressor stations proposed in Lewis County, WV; Buckingham County, VA and Northampton County, NC.
The ACP would be considered open access, which means the pipeline would be open to producers and the market, providing both with the ability to tap into the pipeline for natural gas capacity. The ACP and its interconnections with other interstate pipelines and with Dominion Energy Transmission’s Supply Header Project will open up a range of diverse, reliable natural gas supplies for ACP customers.
While it would not be feasible to connect individual homes or small businesses directly to the pipeline, we do expect to connect with various local gas distribution companies, as capacity permits, and with power generators that would use natural gas to provide electricity for consumers while meeting new environmental regulations to improve air quality.
No. This project is about meeting the very real and growing energy needs of consumers and businesses in Virginia and North Carolina, not for export.
Communication with Federally and State/Commonwealth recognized American Indian tribes that may be impacted by ACP has been ongoing through the life of the project. By assisting FERC’s compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation, Atlantic has performed field surveys to collect information on archaeological sites and other cultural resources in addition to contacting tribes to discuss the project. Contacts of the Federally and State/Commonwealth tribes are also included in ACP’s stakeholder list to ensure they receive FERC notices and the ACP newsletters which provide stakeholders with timely information about the project and its major milestones.
There are about 2½ times as many miles of existing natural gas pipelines in both Virginia and North Carolina as there are miles of interstate highways. Because virtually all of the pipeline facilities are underground, most people never realize they are there. That would also be the case with the ACP. After construction, pipeline rights of way can be farmed and used for livestock grazing, recreation and many other activities.

Safety

The Department of Transportation (DOT) often refers to underground pipelines as the safest, most reliable and efficient manner of transporting energy products. According to research by the National Transportation Safety Board, pipelines make up less than .01% of all transportation-related incidents in the U.S. today. Safety is the number one core value at Dominion Energy, the builder and operator of ACP. From construction through operations, safety will be the top priority of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. There are a variety of programs and methods to assure and assess the integrity of natural gas transmission lines, such as safe construction practices with pipeline coatings for corrosion, the use of clean fill, monthly aerial inspections, frequent foot-patrol inspections, internal computerized pipeline inspection with "smart pigs," and around-the-clock monitoring by our Gas Control group. “Smart pigs” travel through the pipeline with the natural gas equipped with various sensors to check the pipeline for any anomalies. Compressor stations are also equipped with safety features, including automatic pressure-relief valves, an emergency shutdown system, natural gas detection devices and 24/7 computerized pressure monitoring. Emergency response plans will be in place and the team will coordinate with local emergency responders along the route throughout construction and operations, as Dominion Energy is dedicated to building, monitoring and operating the pipeline safely.
Natural gas pipelines have an excellent safety record. One safety incident is one too many in Dominion Energy’s view, but the number of incidents nationally is very small given the more than 300,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in the country. Pipelines are the safest way to transport energy. Dominion Energy is dedicated to building, monitoring and maintaining the ACP safely.
We have decades of experience working with local emergency responders along our pipeline corridors across 6 states. ACP will provide standard gas industry training for emergency responders to effectively prepare for and respond to natural gas emergency situations. This training is made available to emergency responders responsible for geographical areas in the ACP facility footprint. Equipment/personnel requirements for responding to a natural gas emergency are similar in scope to normal emergency situations. The emergency responders’ primary responsibilities are to secure a “safe perimeter” while ACP personnel address the emergency situation.
Pipelines are designed with redundant, overlapping layers of protection to ensure safe operations, including the ability to withstand seismic activity. Federal pipeline safety regulations actually require that we incorporate seismic hazards and other soil movement into our design. The epicenter of the 2011 earthquake in Mineral, Virginia occurred within just a few miles of four major natural gas transmission pipelines, and the earthquake caused no damage to any of those pipelines.
There are hundreds of miles of existing natural gas pipelines that have been built through the karst regions of Virginia and West Virginia for more than 70 years. The chance of a pipeline failing due to the sudden and catastrophic development of a karstic subsidence of rock or soil is highly unlikely, based on the history of existing installations. In fact, natural gas transmission pipelines have never been considered a risk to the karst environment in the Appalachian region by karst and/or engineering geologists when installed using trenching methods that adhere to responsible construction standards of practice. Dominion Energy’s monitoring program would allow early detection, in the unlikely event of a sinkhole forming in this region, to allow proper remediation.

Construction

Design steps are taken to prevent this from happening. On slopes, water bars are installed on the surface to direct water off the pipeline alignment onto undisturbed well vegetated areas. Within the trench itself, trench plugs are installed to prevent the trench from acting like a continuous conduit for water flow. The trench plugs interrupt the water flow, and promote the percolation of water vertically to the surface. The water bar on the surface then carries the water off the pipeline alignment. Trench plugs and water bars function as a system to protect the pipeline ROW.
Construction activities are closely monitored to prevent and control fuel leaks and spills. All construction activities are regulated by federal and state agencies, and must have strict Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) protocols in use.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a need for additional natural gas infrastructure to better serve existing and growing customer demand, improve service reliability and allow for customer growth and economic development. The ACP Project would also improve gas supply for Mid-Atlantic markets, thereby promoting price stability and enhancing economic opportunity. For example, this project will provide a new supply of natural gas for Duke Energy’s electric generation and will serve the growing customer needs for Piedmont Natural Gas and Virginia Natural Gas. Additionally, the ACP would help the project partners meet new air emission regulations while continuing to meet their obligation to supply electricity or natural gas to their customers at reasonable rates.