Key Virginia permit takes effect for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia environmental regulators have approved engineering plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in a move that means the project has the state’s permission to begin construction.

The state Department of Environmental Quality announced Friday afternoon it had approved erosion and sediment control, stormwater management and karst protection plans for the natural gas pipeline. The signoff means a state-level water quality permit takes effect.

Pipeline spokesman Aaron Ruby says developers will now request permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to proceed with full construction in Virginia. He called it a “major step forward” for the three-state project.

Construction has already begun in West Virginia and North Carolina on the approximately 600-mile pipeline.

Environmental groups have argued the permits should be denied and have filed numerous legal challenges against the project.

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