A federal environmental review has found that the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would have some negative effects on water, forests and endangered species. But the pipeline's builders call the report favorable overall and say it clears the way for final approval.
Dominion Energy of Virginia has already begun preliminary work on the 600-mile pipeline, which would carry fracked natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia and North Carolina. Duke Energy is an investor in the $5 billion project.
The environmental assessment was published Friday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees interstate pipelines. It says environmental effects could be reduced with the right construction safeguards.
Dominion already has altered the route in response to some environmental concerns. The company said in a statement the "favorable" review paves the way for the FERC to give the go-ahead for construction.
Environmental groups and many landowners have been fighting the plan through campaigns and legal filings. Besides citing environmental concerns, some argue the pipeline isn't needed.
But the pipeline also has support from political and business leaders, who say it will provide cleaner energy and jobs.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline website, http://atlanticcoastpipeline.com/
SouthernEnvironment.org web page on environmental concerns with the pipeline