Policy: Environment & Energy

Dominion proposes gas pipeline from W.Va. to NC

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Local,Virginia,West Virginia,Energy and Environment,North Carolina,Natural Gas

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Dominion Resources Inc. has proposed building a 450-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from the Appalachian Basin to markets in Virginia and North Carolina.

The proposed Dominion Southeast Reliability Project would run from an interconnection with a Dominion Transmission Inc. pipeline in North Central West Virginia through Virginia to Lumberton, North Carolina. Dominion Transmission is Richmond-based Dominion Resource's interstate gas transmission and storage subsidiary.

Dominion Resources spokesman Jim Norvelle told the Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1kmES2s ) that the company hasn't decided whether to build the pipeline.

A route for the pipeline hasn't been identified. Norvelle said the company is notifying land owners that it will begin surveying for a route as early as this summer.

Dominion Transmission would build the pipeline, which could be put into service by the end of 2018.

Robert Orndorff, a representative with Dominion Transmission, met with the Lewis County Commission in West Virginia on Tuesday to inform the commissioners about the project, The Exponent Telegram (http://bit.ly/1py3lBY) reported.

Orndorff said Dominion Transmission expects the pipeline to measure 42 inches in diameter.

"That is huge. That's going to take a lot of gas out of North Central West Virginia to power power plants and other industries in North Carolina," he said. "It's actually kind of when you look at it revolutionary, because of the fact that no longer is the primary supply coming out of the Gulf of Mexico. It's coming out of North Central West Virginia and Pennsylvania."

Rick Webb, a senior scientist with the University of Virginia's Department of Environmental Science, is concerned about the pipeline's impact on the environment.

"This cannot happen without long-term damage to the ecologic and hydrologic integrity of the Allegheny Highlands, among the best and least altered natural landscapes in the Eastern U.S.," Webb told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "and it will add to the factors that are driving environmentally irresponsible gas-drilling practices."

If the pipeline is built, Orndorff said it would bring economic development to Lewis County.

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