In spite of Possible Jobs, ACP opposition still strong

In an Allegheny Mountain Radio news story earlier in the week, we covered an employment expo that took place in Fishersville where Dominion Transfer was showcasing construction and vending jobs that might be available if the project moves forward. The estimated start date has been moved a couple of times, and a large piece of land has been purchased by the company to “mitigate” private properties that have conservation easements on them. Dominion designed its route to cross those protected lands, which has called into question the whole practice of conservation easements to begin with. The Directors of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, which holds the easements for the majority of those properties, is meeting with Dominion officials in February to determine future steps.

Yet the opposition to the pipeline remains strong along the proposed route. Bath County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a letter of opposition to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the first part of the year. The US Forest Service identified the Cow Knob Salamander as a reason for Dominion to reroute the pipeline away from Shenandoah Mountain. In July, there was a March on the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond where hundreds of Virginians expressed frustration with Governor McAuliffe’s open endorsement of the project. A slew of volunteer and professional Geological Studies, in addition to the surveys Dominion is responsible for, have analyzed the karst topography and located many of the caves throughout the region. Maintaining water quality and sustaining current flow while risks of leakage and major erosion increase, are consistent major concerns. And always the question of Necessity of more infrastructure has been challenged- whether or not (as efficiency increases) there is adequate access to natural gas currently, and whether more emphasis should be spent on reducing our dependence on fossil fuels with alternatives.

From the beginning, individuals and groups have registered their opposition, and filed countless comments on all of the reasons why plans for the pipeline are flawed.

They’ve established Docket #15-554 that could stretch the length of the whole trench from the Marcellus Shale fields in Harrison County West Virginia to Greensville County, Virginia.

One of the recent comments filed by Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition addresses two issues. The first is that Dominion failed to include any information about Karst recharge and resurgence in the environmental review material it is responsible for filing with FERC, and secondly, it also supplied some incorrect information as part of its karst survey report also submitted to FERC.

Rick Webb of the DMPC continued:

“With respect to water supplies, Dominion has simply indicated that it will monitor the quality and yield of wells and springs within 500 feet of the pipeline in karst and otherwise within 150 feet of the pipeline. These distances are arbitrary and inadequate, especially in karst terrain where groundwater and surface water connectivity is determined by the karst structure and not by distance.” Back in the summer almost a hundred citizens who live within a mile of the pipeline route, but beyond that five hundred feet of monitoring water quality contacted Dominion with a letter. They asked for assurance any damage to their water quality would be repaired by the company. Dominion hasn’t responded either to the concerned residents, or on the FERC docket.

For the conclusion of this report on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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