Environment

Feds want to know health effects of coatings used in Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline had begun in Northampton County, but has now stopped while the courts resolve several federal lawsuits. There are also environmental and public health concerns about the coatings used to line the pipes. (Photo: Lisa Sorg)

Federal regulators have asked the owners of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to provide toxicological information about chemicals used to coat the inside of pipes, according to a letter dated July 3.

Under the name ACP, LLC, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy co-own the 600-mile pipeline, which, if built, would transport fracked natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia, eastern North Carolina and into South Carolina.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requested the information from Dominion in response to comments from the Virginia Department of Health.

The 3M company manufactures the pipeline coatings under the name Scotchkote Fusion Bonded Epoxy Coatings and Scotchkote Liquid Epoxy Coatings. (3M also manufactured per fluorinated compounds, otherwise known as PFAS.)

Ingredients in the Fusion Bonded Epoxy made by 3M

Material Safety Data Sheets for the products show the fusion-bonded coating contains known carcinogens. Ingredients include Bisphenol-A, also known as BPA. Exposure to BPA has been linked to reproductive and developmental effects and an increased risk of diabetes.

Ingredients in the liquid epoxy can be toxic to internal organs and irritate the skin. The epoxy is suspected to cause cancer.

FERC is asking ACP, LLC to evaluate and report on the toxicity of the epoxies from “direct and indirect human contact, ingestion or inhalation.” Regulators also want to know if the epoxies, should they enter the environment, would threaten the air, soil, surface water and groundwater.

It’s unclear if the ACP will actually be built. Work has stopped along the route while lawsuits wend their way through the courts. And the cost, once estimated at $5.5 billion, has ballooned to at least $7.5 billion.



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