Alternate Pipeline Route To Be Surveyed
More landowners in Highland County, Virginia and Pocahontas and Randolph counties in West Virginia, are now faced with the prospect that their property may be affected by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. Dominion Resources issued a press release on Monday that revealed that they are notifying landowners of intent to survey their property for an alternate route for the pipeline. Letters were mailed at the end of the week of February 9th through 13th, and informed recipients that the study was intended to begin on or around March 1st, 2015. According to the company, these surveys are necessary to find the best route with the least impact to the environment, historical and cultural resources. Granting access to survey does not imply that landowners have given the right to allow the pipeline to be constructed on their property. Should the project move forward, ACP LLC would seek a separate easement agreement for all landowners along the final route.
The alternative route was included in Resource Report 10, which was filed by the company with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in early December. According to the relevant portions of this report, the intent of this, as well as other alternative routes studied, was to reduce the crossing length of the Monongahela National Forest, and avoid sensitive resources, including the habitat for the West Virginia flying squirrel and Cheat Mountain salamander. The drawbacks to these routes are that it adds to the overall length of the project, as well the prospect of facing more difficult terrain, necessitating the use of special equipment, including winched tractors and vehicles. Dominion is required to submit it’s preferred route to F.E.R.C. in it’s application, which is scheduled to be filed later this year.
Visit the Allegheny Mountain Radio website for the transcript of this story to see maps of the proposed and alternative routes, as well as the portions of the filings with F.E.R.C. that address the intent and impacts of each.