A natural gas pipeline that would pass through North Carolina has been delayed over regulatory and legal issues, although the company overseeing the project maintains that it will be completed by early 2021.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would carry natural gas from West Virginia south through Virginia and North Carolina. Dominion Energy, based out of Richmond, Virginia, is the largest of several partners on the project and is responsible for its construction and operation.
In December, the 4th Federal Circuit Court ruled in favor of several environmental organizations represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center and stayed, or suspended, a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Services. This type of permit is required for any construction in the habitat of species protected under the Endangered Species Act. That permit originally gave Dominion permission to construct the pipeline on a 100-mile stretch in West Virginia and Virginia.
Dominion Energy Media/Community Relations Manager Karl Neddenien said Dominion voluntarily stopped construction on the entire pipeline while it waited for the clarification on whether or not that stayed permit meant it must suspend construction entirely. In January, the court denied their motion for clarification.