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Natural Gas Pipelines in Virginia

DEQ is committed to working closely with our federal partners, other state agencies, local governments, and Virginia’s citizens, to protect public health, our rural economies and Virginia’s landscapes during construction and operation of pipelines.  DEQ regulates constructed pipelines as 'facilities.'

For new interstate pipelines, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates construction and the U.S. Department of Transportation regulates safety. FERC is responsible for evaluating if interstate gas pipeline projects should be constructed pursuant to the Natural Gas Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  

The NEPA process includes an environmental analysis of the potential impacts from the proposed construction and operation of a proposed pipeline.  The analysis is documented in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or an Environmental Assessment (EA).  Applicants must conduct both cultural resource and environmental studies along the proposed route. 

FERC coordinates the review and gathers comments from local, state and federal agencies, and private citizens.  More detailed information about the process can be found on FERC's website and in its guide, What do I Need to Know.

DEQ coordinates the Commonwealth’s review of FERC’s NEPA document (EIS or EA) with other state agencies, localities and planning district commissions. DEQ will respond to FERC with comments and recommendations regarding air and water quality, wetlands, soils, wildlife and significant habitat, threatened and endangered species, waste management, forests, and historic resources.  In addition, if the project location is within Tidewater Virginia, DEQ will coordinate the review of the Federal Consistency Certification submitted by the applicant and consider the project’s consistency with policies that protect coastal resources.

Major Projects

Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP):  On December 30, 2016, FERC issued a ACP Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed pipeline. On April 6, 2017, the Commonwealth responded to the ACP DEIS. On June 8, 2017, the Commonwealth of Virginia completed the review of the federal consistency certification (DEQ 15-161F) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in the cities of Suffolk and Chesapeake. On July 21, 2017, FERC issued a ACP Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed pipeline and supply header project.  For more information, contact Dominion at 1-844-215-1819 or online.

Response to the ACP DEIS

Response to the ACP FCC: Letter and Attachments


Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP): On September 16, 2016, FERC issued the MVP Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed project. The Commonwealth responded to the DEIS on December 22, 2016. FERC issued a notice of the MVP Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on June 23. Contact EQT and NextEra Energy directly at 412-395-7025 or email for additional information.

Response to the MVP DEIS   

Permits and Authorizations


Permits or approvals for a specific project will be required depending on the state agency.  For example, DEQ requires permits related to wetlands, surface water and groundwater withdrawals, construction, discharges to water and air, and soil erosion; the Virginia Marine Resources Commission issues permits for encroachments in, on or over State-owned submerged lands;  the  Department of Game and Inland Fisheries requires review of potential impacts to threatened and endangered species; and the Department of Historic Resources requires review of  historic and archaeological resources. 


Local governments also have a role in determining project specifics.  Local Wetlands Boards issue permits for use or development of tidal wetlands,  local land use ordinances can be used to regulate the traffic, noise and other aspects of the construction activity and pipeline operation that impact the community.


Environmental Permits & Authorizations
Agency Review
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, and; Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Virginia Protected Species
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Virginia Scenic Rivers
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Virginia Water Protection Permit includes Section 401 Certification for Federal Section 404 permits for disturbing a wetland or stream. VWP permits may also require DEQ approved compensation for wetland and stream impacts prior to disturbance activities. VWP General Permit WP2  for Facilities and Activities of Utility and Public Service Companies 9 VAC 25-670
Virginia Stormwater Management Program

General Permit for Discharges from Construction Activities (VAR10) (as applicable)           
Virginia Water Protection General Permit for Facilities and Activities of Utility and Public Service Companies Regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the State Corporation Commission and Other Utility Line Activities
Erosion & Sediment Control Program

Erosion and Sediment Control Plans and associated variances
Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

General Permit for Discharges from Petroleum Contaminated Sites, Groundwater Remediation and Hydrostatic Tests (Registration Statement for VAG83)
Virginia Air Permit Article 8 or Article 6
Coastal Zone Management Act Federal Consistency Certification
Water Protection for Pipelines
Virginia Department of Historic Resources National Historic Preservation Act Section 106
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Land Use Permit (24 VAC 30-151)
Virginia Marine Resources Commission Permit for encroachment over state-owned submerged lands pursuant to Chapter 12 of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia
Virginia Outdoors Foundation  Open-space easements protected pursuant to Code of Virginia under Section 10.1-1700 et al.  
Local County/City Wetlands Boards Permit for use or development of tidal wetlands pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia
Multiple Native American consultations

Featured Topics

DEQ's requirements to protect water quality in the locations of the Atlantic Coast and the Mountain Valley pipelines

Permits and Approvals

Major Projects

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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