Feds to hold first NC hearings next month on gas pipeline

Federal regulators are holding their first public hearings on a proposed natural gas pipeline that will deliver shale gas cross four states and terminate in North Carolina.

The proposed 554-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline will deliver shale gas from the Marcellus Shale drilling fields in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to supply Duke Energy power plants as well as residential and business customers of Piedmont Natural Gas.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is reviewing the project, has scheduled public hearings for affected property owners along the pipeline route as well as interested agencies and entities. In North Carolina the pipeline will run along the I-95 corridor through eight counties and terminate near Lumberton in Robeson County.

The project will also require three new compressor stations, including one in Northampton County in this state. After construction is completed, the pipeline will permanently occupy about 4,370 acres of private property, for which owners will be reimbursed.

The FERC will review the public comments in preparation of an environmental impact statement that will assess the pipeline’s effects on local ecologies, economies, cultural resources, property values, public safety and other issues.

Public comments can be submitted electronically, by paper or in person.

The FERC will hold 10 public hearings, each starting at 7 p.m., including three in North Carolina: March 9, Pine Forest High School, Fayetteville; March 10, Forest Hills Middle School, Wilson; March 11, William R. Davie Middle School, Roanoke Rapids.

Murawski: 919-829-8932