On Sept. 15, TC Energy and Columbia Gas Transmission’s Virginia Reliability Project (VRP) received a favorable environmental impact statement (EIS) by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC’s findings also reflected the work of federal and state experts under the National Environmental Policy Act.
In addition to working with landowners and elected leaders, the VRP has prioritized outreach and canvassed more than 3,500 residences and over 500 business in communities along the project route, with those efforts ongoing. During the environmental review process, the U.S. Environment Protection Agency stated in a letter to FERC that the “EPA applauds Columbia’s effort to engage meaningfully with communities of environmental justice concern in the VRP area.”
With energy systems that are already fully subscribed and operating at their capacity, the Virginia Reliability Project will meet increased demands from customers in the region by replacing an approximately 49-mile stretch of natural gas pipeline between Sussex County and Chesapeake with new, more modern pipeline facilities while increasing the capacity of the current pipeline and upgrading it with emissions limiting technology and safety enhancements.
Since the last significant capacity investment in Hampton Roads 30 years ago, local distribution has seen more than 73% growth in the number of customers. VRP will help address the region’s need for reliable and resilient energy to meet this organic growth in energy demand as well as support new economic development opportunities in southeast Virginia.