(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final environmental impact statement on Friday for Dominion Energy Inc's Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina.
The statement said that construction and operation of the $5.0-$5.5 billion pipe would cause some adverse environmental effects but noted those impacts could be minimized or avoided if the company followed its own and FERC staff's recommendations.
"The favorable environmental report released today provides a clear path for final approval of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline this fall," said Leslie Hartz, Dominion's Vice President, Engineering & Construction, in a statement.
"The report concludes that the project can be built safely and with minimal long-term impacts to the environment," Hartz said.
Atlantic Coast is a proposed 600-mile (965-kilometer) pipeline designed to deliver up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas from the Marcellus/Utica shale region in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio to customers in Virginia and North Carolina.
One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to supply about five million U.S. homes.
The environmental report also included possible impacts from Dominion's proposed $500 million, 375-mile Supply Header project that will feed gas from producers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio into the Atlantic Coast pipe.
Dominion said it expects Atlantic Coast and the Supply Header projects to enter service in late 2019.
Dominion said on its website the Atlantic Coast project is expected to create 17,000 new jobs, save customers about $377 million in annual energy costs and result in $28 million in new local tax revenues.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Andrea Ricci)