Dominion suspends Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Dominion Energy said it is voluntarily suspending construction along the entire 600-mile route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The company filed its decision with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after Dominion cited a stay of implementation of a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service granted by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Aaron Ruby, a spokesman for Dominion Energy, said construction will be suspended until they receive more clarity from the court.

"We strongly disagree with the court's decision. We believe this stay is not only unwarranted, but overly broad," said Ruby. "We are filing a motion for emergency clarification on the scope of the court's decision."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had cited concerns earlier this year over the pipeline's potential impact on five endangered species. Construction was temporarily halted by the court until the permits could be resolved, however, the latest legal action has once again halted the construction. Ruby said the court's stay impacts the entire 600 miles of the project and said the issues in this case involve a much narrower scope of the project.

"In developing this project over the last four years, we have taken extraordinary care to protect the sensitive species at issue in this case," said Ruby. "We will vigorously defend the agency's re-authorizations and the measures we've taken to protect the species in oral arguments before the court early next year."

The pipeline would begin in West Virginia and span 600 miles through parts of Virginia, including Augusta County, and into North Carolina.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report