Atlantic Coast Pipeline granted approval to cross under Blue Ridge Parkway

Published: Dec. 14, 2017 at 11:35 AM EST
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Just days after the Atlantic Coast Pipeline received

for a water quality certificate in Virginia, the project has secured another key regulatory approval.

The National Park Service (NPS) has authorized Dominion to build the pipeline beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway.

According to Aaron Ruby, spokesman for Dominion Energy, the NPS issued Construction and Right of Way permits for the Blue Ridge Parkway crossing this week.

"The agency concluded that the crossing is consistent with the long-term conservation of scenery, wildlife and cultural resources under the agency’s care," Ruby stated. "The agency’s approval was reached after more than three years of careful study and meaningful engagement with the public and other agencies."

Ruby added that Dominion is adopting the "the most protective crossing method for the Parkway," arguing that it will completely avoid surface impacts and preserve the scenic nature of the area.

This will be done with a Horizontal Directional Drill, installing the pipeline 800 feet below the parkway in a tunnel.

"We’ve always believed it’s important to balance the energy needs of consumers with the preservation of cultural resources," said Ruby. "The Park Service’s approval shows that through collaboration with agencies, we can responsibly develop infrastructure while preserving cultural resources for the enjoyment of future generations.”

This comes just under one month after the pipeline

, which gave Dominion permission to cross under the Appalachian Trail in Augusta County.

About 21 miles of the 600-mile-long pipeline project are located on National Forest Service lands.

Marshall Pattie, member of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors,

this week that he doesn't foresee any long-term economic impact from construction on the pipeline in Augusta County.

The City of Staunton is

as opposing the pipeline.