The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has – this month – reached a number of milestones on the project.
In addition to signing Project Labour Agreements, the pipeline has also received a waiver of the 401 Water Quality Certification and a water quality certification approval; it has already received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The 966 km gas transmission pipeline, which is being developed by Atlantic, a joint venture lead by Dominion Energy, along with Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company Gas signed labor agreements with four building and construction trade unions.
“From day one we’ve committed to building this project to the highest standards of quality and safety,” Dominion Energy Vice President Engineering and Construction Leslie Hartz said.
“These organisations represent the most highly-skilled and well-trained professionals in the industry.
“They have the training, dedication and experience we need, and we’re proud to have them on board for this historic project.”
The unions will be responsible for hiring and training the 13,000 construction workers for the pipeline, and have committed to at least half the workforce being sourced from local membership in West Virginia, Virginia and North Virginia, as well as committing to hiring at least 25 per cent of all new hires from local communities where the pipeline will be built.
LiUNA Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager Dennis Martire said the construction of the pipeline was an opportunity to bring jobs back to the local community.
“This is the biggest job-creating infrastructure project we’ve seen in our region for many decades,” Mr Martire said.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our region’s infrastructure and bring back the middle class jobs that have disappeared from too many of our communities.
“Our members live in these communities, so we have a personal stake in doing this the right way and with the utmost care for safety and the environment.
“We have the skills and the work ethic that it takes to build a project like this, and we’re just grateful for the opportunity to put those skills to work for our economy and our energy security.”
Dominion Energy Spokesperson Aaron Ruby said the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to waive the 401 Water Quality Certification and the Virginia State Water Control Board’s approval of water quality certification – after an exhaustive three-year review – were both significant milestones for the project.
“This (401 Water Quality Certification) brings West Virginia one step closer to the thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity the project will bring to communities across the state,” Mr Ruby said.
“The Board (Virginia State Water Control Board) approved several conditions to strengthen water quality protections and require other state approvals before the certification takes effect.”
“We will work closely with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to complete all remaining approvals in a timely manner and ensure we meet all conditions of the certification.
“We commend the Board members and DEQ staff for the years of hard work and careful study they’ve dedicated to reviewing the project.
“This has been a rigorous and transparent process, and everyone’s voice has been heard.
“The process has resulted in more environmental protection and higher water quality standards than any other project of this kind.”
Construction of the pipeline is expected to begin before the end of the year.
For more information visit the Atlantic Coast Pipeline website.
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