US regulators OK Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley pipelines

William K. Jones
FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees interstate natural gas pipelines, released its final environmental impact statement Friday, July 21, 2017 for the proposed 600-mile (965-kilometer) pipeline, which has broad support from political and business leaders but is staunchly opposed by environmentalists and many affected landowners. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A divided federal regulatory commission has granted conditional approvals for two major natural gas pipelines on the East Coast.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued certificates Friday evening for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.

The commission’s signoff on both projects was widely expected. Other necessary permits are pending.

Both pipelines would start in West Virginia, carrying gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits to U.S. markets. The Mountain Valley Pipeline would extent into Virginia and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would run through Virginia and into North Carolina.

The pipelines have been widely supported by business and political leaders. But they’ve been strenuously opposed by environmental groups and many landowners.

One of the three commissioners dissented, writing that she couldn’t conclude either project was in the public interest.