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Forest Service denies ACP route

Roanoke — The United States Forest Service formally denied the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s (ACP) application for a Special Use Permit on Thursday.

According to a press release from Appalachian Mountain Advocates, this denial is likely to seriously delay the project. “The ACP must provide a new route or system alternatives before it can proceed.”

According to the release, the Forest Service’s basis for denying the special use permit is the proposed route’s likely impacts on the Cow Knob and Cheat Mountain salamanders and the West Virginia northern flying squirrel.

“The Forest Service’s regulations and the relevant forest plans prohibit the agency from authorizing any activities that would harm those rare and endangered species. It rejected ACP’s contention that using a technique called horizontal directional drilling to go under Shenandoah Mountain would avoid these impacts,” the release stated.

ACP LLC will continue to work with the Forest Service “to find a route for the interstate natural gas pipeline that is needed to bring reliable supplies of energy to Virginia and North Carolina,” said Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle.