CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Tree felling is starting in West Virginia along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s path.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted permission Friday to start limited, pre-construction tree felling, even though the project hasn’t yet attained all of its required environmental approvals.
Dominion Energy, which is developing the pipeline, announced that tree felling and vegetation clearing would begin within the next few days in West Virginia and Virginia. Activity in North Carolina is to begin after remaining state agency approvals are granted.
Dominion says the work will only be done on properties where agreements have been reached with landowners.
The company says none of the work will be done in wetlands, near waterbodies or in other areas that require additional federal and state permits.
Tree felling will continue through the end of March.
“We will of course notify all landowners before beginning activity on their property,” the company stated in its announcement.
The company says full construction is on track to begin in the spring and completion of the project in late 2019.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would deliver up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of Marcellus shale gas from West Virginia to customers in Virginia and North Carolina every day.
The project by Dominion Transportation Inc. would run the pipeline 600 miles, beginning in Harrison County through Virginia and into southeastern North Carolina.
The $5.1 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline would span 600 miles from Harrison County and across Lewis, Upshur, Randolph and Pocahontas counties in West Virginia.
The Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 organizations in Virginia and West Virginia announced a citizen initiative to monitor construction activities of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The initiative aims to ensure strict application of environmental laws and regulations, the coalition announced Monday.