US Forest Service questions proposed route for $5bn Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline

US Forest Service has expressed concerns to the federal regulators about the proposed Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline that will pass through the national forests in Virginia and West Virginia.

The federal agency had posted 335 questions, comments and corrections in writing for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission questioning why the 30 mile pipeline will have to pass through George Washington and Monongahela national forests, reports Associated Press.

The entire pipeline, which is 550-miles long, had been proposed by Dominion Resources, Duke Energy along with two other energy partners.

The US agency has already given its consent for surveying the forests of wetlands and wildlife to the developers for the proposed construction, which are nearing completion.

Expected to cost around $5bn, the pipeline is aimed to transport natural gas from Marcellus shale drilling in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to the Southeast.

As planned, it is likely to connect Harrison County in West Virginia, southeast to Greensville County, Virginia, and then run into North Carolina.

The proposed pipeline is expected to meet the energy requirements in the south eastern parts of the US, where utilities are trying to shift focus from coal-fired power facilities.

The energy operators intend to utilise cleaner burning natural gas for power facilities in order to comply with the stringent federal rules for pollution control.

Forest Service had also raised objections to the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, which has been undertaken as a joint venture by EQT and NextEra Energy.

The 300 mile long interstate pipeline, which will run from Wetzel County in West Virginia to another pipeline in Pittsylvania County, will pass through the Jefferson National Forest.

LNG export from the facility will be allowed at volumetric rate and will not be permitted beyond capacity.

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