State board grants conditional OK on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A panel of Virginia regulators has granted a conditional permit for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline contingent on getting more information about the project’s water quality impacts. The Virginia State Water Control Board voted 4-3 Tuesday to approve a key Clean Water Act permit. The board is charged with determining whether there is “reasonable assurance” water along the route won’t be contaminated during construction. Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Bill Hayden says the permit won’t take effect until several additional studies are reviewed and approved by the department. They include soil and erosion control plans and stormwater management plans. Pipeline spokesman Aaron Ruby says the company is evaluating some of the additional conditions and will have a full statement later Tuesday. Many opponents characterized the decision as a partial victory. Atlantic Coast officials call it “another major step forward toward approval.”

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