Two documents will help you prepare for Dominion’s September 16th “Open House.” The first provides information on Protecting Your Property Rights, and the second is a detailed list of possible questions to ask Dominion about the proposed pipeline. A few examples of the kinds of questions on the list: what guarantee do we have that this pipeline will not be repurposed to contain other, more toxic materials? what is my liability during and after construction? why is the permanent right of way so wide? have earthquakes over 4 on the Richter scale (like we had in 2011) occurred in areas with pipelines of this size and pressure? Print copies and take them with you! The meeting is at the Nelson Center in Lovingston, 5-6:30 for property owners on the proposed route, 6:30-8 for property owners and the general public.
As of September 13, 2014, Dominion had not applied for “pre-filing” with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is the first step in the regulatory process. But you don’t have to wait for Dominion. You can tell FERC what you think now. This sheet provides information on writing to FERC.
The next public meeting of Friends of Nelson will be:
Sunday, September 14th at 7pm
Rockfish Valley Community Center
190 Rockfish School Ln.
Afton, VA 22920
(434) 361-0100 [map]
Dominion has rented the Nelson Center on Tuesday, September 16th for 7 hours ending at 9PM. Their schedule for all of their public meetings can be found here. The format they are using is often called an “Open House” but it might also be called “divide and conquer”. See the Landowners page and the In the News page for postings helpful in preparing for this meeting.
Augusta Supervisor Tracy Pyles will host a meeting, Saturday, September 6 at 9:00 am at the Augusta County Government Center, Verona, Virginia.
Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club sponsoring a panel discussion Wednesday, September 17, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Charlottesville, Virginia. Speakers:
Ernie Reed, Wild Virginia & Friends of Nelson
Dan Holmes, Piedmont Environmental Council
Greg Buppert, Southern Environmental Law Center
Kirk Bowers, Sierra Club
An event to raise awareness about the Dominion Resources’ proposed pipeline, Saturday, September 20, 7:00 – 12:00 pm, at The Spring, Lewisburg, West Virginia.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE EXCITING UPCOMING EVENTS!
Please see the following press release for Friends of Nelson’s statement on today’s announcements regarding the Dominion’s proposed natural gas pipeline:
Earlier this week Augusta County Supervisors voted 7-0 to request that Attorney General Mark Herring review the 2004 law that allows gas companies to trespass on private property to survey for potential pipelines. Go Augusta Supervisors! See article for more info.
Augusta Supervisor Tracy Pyles also authored a guest column in the Waynesboro News-Virginian newspaper railing against the law. And there is a chance to vote against the pipeline in an online poll on that same page.
A joint letter to all Nelson property owners from Friends of Nelson, Free Nelson, and the Pipeline Education Group was sent either by US Mail or by email on August 27, 2014. It reviews what we know now about Dominion’s proposed project and suggests ways for property owners, whether in the currently proposed path of the pipeline or not, to share information and to protect our personal property as well as the beauty and character of our county.
Friends of Nelson is incorporated in Virginia and we are ready to conduct business as a non-profit under our Joint Plan of Work agreement with Virginia Organizing. The Board of Friends of Nelson may elect in the future to file for our own federal non-profit status, but to allow us to focus on the work at hand, stopping the Southeast Reliability Project, we decided that we’d leave the admin stuff to those who know it well. We will post information on how to donate, including online, in the very near future.
The blog post on Blue Virginia by Nelson’s Sharon Ponton, with assistance from Waynesboro’s Dan Sullivan, is a thoughtful explanation of why Nelson residents from across the political spectrum oppose the pipeline.
The proposed pipeline would cross the Blue Ridge Parkway near Milepost 4, and would then cross the adjacent Appalachian Trail. Wendy Janssen, Supervisor of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is quoted as saying this about the Dominion pipeline: “We have not met with the Forest Service nor the company representatives about this pipeline. The National Park Service do[es] not have the authority to issue rights of way for petroleum product pipelines and associated facilities [across the AT] so I cannot permit this pipeline across The Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The company would have to go to Congress and get congressional authority. This is not the same authority as the Forest Service, it is very different. Our partner park the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the few National Park Service units that does have the authority to grant right-of-way permits for pipelines.” —–Wendy Janssen, Supervisor of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, 8/20/2014, 4:23pm
There may not be any good examples of large pipeline construction in steep, forested-mountain terrain. Dominion, in fact, has never built a pipeline this large anywhere. This set of photos shows a 42-inch pipeline under construction in Nebraska in a relatively flat landscape. What would such construction look like in the mountains, hills, and valleys of Nelson County? Notice the school buses in the photo – they look tiny in the midst of the construction corridor.