Dead Fish Dot OBX Beaches; Pipeline Costs Jump $1 Billion

Thousands of fish have washed ashore along a two-mile stretch of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

The fish showed up Wednesday on the beaches north of Corolla.

Patricia Smith with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries said most of the dead fish are menhaden. Smith said state fisheries officers have found no marks or sores on the fish.

A crew flew over the site after morning fog cleared and did not see commercial fishing boats offshore. Menhaden have been known to rush ashore escaping from predators such as blue fish.

Smith says water quality experts are also making observations.

Sea birds feasted on the dead fish while some fishermen gathered some of the fish to use for crab bait.

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The cost of a controversial natural gas pipeline planned to run through Virginia and North Carolina is expected to increase by more than $1 billon.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Duke Energy is a 47 percent partner in the 600-mile Dominion Energy-led Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Duke CEO Lynn Good said in an earnings call the estimated total project cost is now at least $6 billion because of delays in the permitting process.

Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby could not confirm the new estimate but said Dominion’s financial disclosure this week would have more information.

Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Greg Buppert says the higher cost means Virginia and North Carolina utility customers will pay more.

Duke anticipates the project’s cost to increase by up to $1.5 billion before its expected 2019 completion date.