RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In a video released today, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC announced an initiative to establish new habitats for butterflies, bees and other pollinator insects along the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Pollinators are essential to the production of many of the fruits and vegetables we eat daily. However, pollinator populations, particularly bees and butterflies, have sharply declined in recent years due to the loss of suitable habitat. The Pollinator Habitat Initiative will create hundreds of acres of new pollinator habitat by replanting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline right of way with native grasses and wildflowers that attract the species.
The project has identified 750 acres of suitable locations along roughly 50 miles of the proposed pipeline route, with the most suitable locations found in flatter areas in southern Virginia and eastern North Carolina. Dozens of native seed mixes have been developed for the program, including native grasses such as Little Bluestem and Beaked Panicum, and wildflowers such as Partridge Pea and Black-Eyed Susan. The program is voluntary and will be implemented with the approval and input of participating landowners.
"Utility corridors offer ideal habitats for all kinds of wildlife, but especially the pollinators that are so essential for food production," said Pamela Faggert, Dominion Energy's Chief Environmental Officer and Senior Vice President, Sustainability. "This initiative builds on the more than 43,000 acres of pollinator habitats Dominion Energy has created along our electric transmission and distribution rights of way. We're excited to build on that progress and continue doing our part to improve our region's natural environment."
In developing the program, the project consulted with a number of wildlife experts, including Bob Glennon, a private lands biologist for Virginia Tech's Conservation Management Institute. "By replanting the pipeline right of way with pollinator habitats, as opposed to mowed grasses, we'll be creating hundreds of acres of new habitat for these species that we otherwise wouldn't have," said Glennon. "I couldn't think of a more environmentally beneficial use of these spaces, and I'm very proud to be a part of it."
One of the participating landowners is Ward Burton, founder and president of the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation. Two of the Foundation's parcels are crossed by the pipeline in southern Virginia and have been selected for the initiative. "As a lifelong conservationist, I couldn't be more excited to participate in this program," said Burton. "Not only will it be beneficial for the pollinators, but it's also going to create new habitats for other wildlife like quail, turkey and songbirds. I see this as a really creative way to not just restore the right of way, but actually enhance its environmental value beyond what it was when we started."
For more information about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Pollinator Habitat Initiative, please visit https://atlanticcoastpipeline.com/pollinator.aspx.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC is composed of four major U.S. energy companies – Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company Gas. The joint venture partners plan to build and own the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a proposed 600-mile underground natural gas transmission pipeline that would help meet the growing energy needs of public utilities in Virginia and North Carolina to generate cleaner electricity, heat homes and power local businesses.
About Dominion Energy
Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 25,700 megawatts of generation, 15,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,600 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion Energy operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 1 trillion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves more than 6 million utility and retail energy customers. For more information about Dominion Energy, visit the company's website at www.dominionenergy.com.
About Duke Energy
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States. Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
About Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas, a North Carolina corporation, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than a million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Piedmont provides a foundation for establishing a broader strategic natural gas infrastructure platform within Duke Energy to supplement and complement the previous natural gas pipeline investments and the natural gas business located in the Midwest. Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America's premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.6 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at www.southerncompanygas.com.