ACP holds Job Fair and Open House in Bath
On Monday night Bath County High School gym, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline hosted an employment fair and information session. One end of the gym was filled with tables where representatives from a variety of inspection companies, and labor, heavy equipment operators, and pipefitters and welders unions spoke to everyone who wanted to know about work, and the project. There were also three tables where landowners or community members could look at maps close-up to discern what impact construction could have on their land. Some still have questions about access roads, and have requested a personal copy of the survey completed on their property. Dominion spokesperson, Aaron Ruby described the opportunities being offered to all potential employees, who would receive on the job training, and starting wages around $25 dollars an hour. He said it was possible a worker hired to work in one spread, or section, of the five-hundred mile long project might also work in others as time and transportation permit. While we looked at large maps of the ACP route beginning in West Virginia going through Virginia and into North Carolina, Aaron Ruby spoke,
“Roughly speaking, about half of the project, or half of our spreads will be built this year. And then the second half will be built next year, so it’s basically a two season construction process.”
I had driven northeast through Deerfield over the weekend, and noticed big changes since the last time I travelled that way.
“There are areas that look like they’ve been cleared whether in preparation, or as part of the project already, and then they stop suddenly and then start again, is that pieces of land waiting on approval, or landowner permission?
“This you would be referring to, up in the Deerfield here, and in the spread 4A is what you’re referring to?”
“About half of it’s in Bath County, and half is in Augusta.”
“Most of that area that you’re describing is pretty much the only area in Bath where we’re going to be building this year.
“So, the first step to kind of prepare for construction, fell the trees, clear the vegetation, prepare the right of way, so that we can, you know enter full construction this Spring and Summer. We started felling trees back in mid-January, worked for about two and a half months, and in mid-March the Federal time of year restrictions for doing that tree felling activity closed, basically to protect migratory birds and bat habitats, and we completed tree felling on about two hundred miles of the route, and we will begin construction on those areas where we’ve completed our tress felling. We’ll be starting in the next couple of months.
And in some cases for example, I don’t know the specific areas that you were looking at, in some cases it could have been we have not been granted access to a certain property yet. It could have been that there was an environmental or historic resource that we need to do more research about in consultation with the agency.”
Those agencies include the department of Environmental Quality or DEQ, and DHR, Department of Historic Resources. More immediately, on Thursday evening there will be an opportunity for public to comment on two proposed construction yards in Highland County. Highland County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors will hold these hearings beginning at 6:00 in the High School gym. For further information about employment with the ACP, phone 844-215-1819. And for information about Thursday’s hearings 703-298-8107