The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is coming through Western Tidewater. That much was made clear at the meeting held at the Golden Leaf Commons in Emporia, Virginia. The meeting included several tables lined up according to city impact. There was a table for Southampton, Suffolk, and Greensville County. On each table was a map with the proposed pipeline and a proposed alternative route. Here is what we learned about the ACP. It begins in Harrison County, West Virginia and flows through Virginia until it reaches Robeson County, North Carolina. There is a valve that passes from the Northampton County, North Carolina through Chesapeake, Virginia called a “TAP,” which is essentially where the natural gas veers in a horizontal direction to provide natural gas to the Chesapeake, Suffolk, and other Virginia cities located within the pipeline area. The natural gas flows form North to South, with the exception of the horizontal TAP that runs East. The proposed alternative routes are given names based on the closest cities, though the cities themselves mostly are unaffected by the pipeline. The Franklin Route Alternative does not actually run through Franklin, instead essentially flowing through Suffolk along the 189 bypass. The Boykins Route Alternative, also failing to go through Boykins, snakes along the 671 bypass in Southampton County. The only route that actually runs through its namesake is the Brunswick Alternative Route. Upon speaking to engineers from ACP, we learned that the average dig is between 5′ and 8′ with the type of terrain being the determinative factor. There is a union of employees that will serve as the leadership for the digs, but their intention is to add at least some employees from the local area. The Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) is the industry group (some may label as union) that will be heading the work of the project. The anticipate that the digging will begin in 2016 and that the project will last two years. There were several citizens that attended the meeting with mixed reviews. Some were visibly and verbally upset about the pipeline. Others were curious and questioning. There were several representatives with ACP that were there to answer questions and give directions and paperwork. We will upload the maps and information as soon as possible. Drew Page, Randall Page, P.C.
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