Atlantic Coast Pipeline plans moving along, environmental concerns remain

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UPSHUR COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV) - "Weather has played a factor, but we are on track to continue with our construction plans for early spring," says Dominion Energy Spokesperson Samantha Norris.

The Atlantic coast pipeline project is set to be in full effect at the end of March, but some people are hoping that it won’t come at all.

"I still hold out hope that we could turn ourselves around," says President of the Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance April Pierson-Keating.

Pierson-Keating says that the location of the pipeline is a concern.

"12,000 ft from our state police barracks and less than half a mile from our high school. So if it blew right there, it would take out the water tower, there’s a house right there, the state police barracks, those would be incinerated totally" says Pierson-Keating.

But Dominion Energy's spokesperson says that West Virginia has abundant resources and the pipeline construction is allowing us to use them.

"To get a very abundant natural resource that’s found right here in West Virginia to markets on the east coast, some of the fastest growing markets on the east coast will be recipients of this great resource that we proudly have here in our state," says Norris.

But Pierson-Keating argues, "This pipeline is going to increase fracking across the state and the region, and we know that fracking toxifies millions of gallons of water on a daily basis and takes it out the water system so we can’t use it."

Part of the update to the project is an upcoming job fair to employ local workers, and Norris says that more than 3,000 new jobs are being brought into West Virginia from the Atlantic coast pipeline project, but those aren't the only financial benefits.

"When the pipeliners are here and they want to go out to eat one evening, they’re going to be eating in our local restaurants, they’re going to be staying in our local hotels, they’re going to be shopping in our local convenient stores, so this will have a trickling effect on our local economy" explains Norris.