Category Archives: Citizen Surveillance

Important Upcoming Events

In addition to the one-day Spruce Creek Camp (see above), there are two other forthcoming events of note:

Dominion vs Nelson County in Federal Court, April 8, 2019:

For background information see our post on March 14, 2019.


Pipeline Air Force Drone Meet-Up, March 30, 2019:

For details see our post on March 7, 2019.  See also the recent news article, Drones change the way advocates protect the environment

Pipeline Air Force Drone Meet-up


Saturday, March 30th
, the Pipeline Air Force will be having its first UAV (drone) meet-up of 2019, and you are invited!

They will be meeting to share skills, knowledge, experience, and ideas regarding UAV technology all day from 10am-4pm in the Rockfish Valley Community Center, in Nelson County, VA. They will be focusing on how to plug your skills and experience as a remote pilot into our Pipeline CSI program to defend our quality of life and water quality in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains of Appalachia, but the skills and lessons to be shared are applicable to many use-cases involving drones.

Please fill out this RSVP form by Saturday 3/23 if you intend to joining them: https://goo.gl/forms/S7Roh9Y3uvGYQpa93

Space is limited to the first 25 folks who register; lunch will be provided for those who RSVP.

Registration priority will be given to those who are most serious about joining the program and those who already have their Part 107 license.

The Pipeline CSI has been developing our systems and methodology for aerial photos review of missions taken by our volunteer manned aircraft over the past 6 months. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline project is currently on an indefinite work stoppage until at least September due to their loss of multiple key federal permits. We want to make the most of this reprieve of work by sharing skills, putting our heads together, and getting organized.

Come learn how to execute and share flight plans for imagery product creation like orthomosaics and 3D models. See how professionals and volunteers are creating a new way to monitor development of huge construction projects. Meet other remote pilots, technologists, and discover how you can give back to the community at large as a volunteer drone monitor for the Pipeline CSI!

When: Saturday, March 30th, 10am-4pm
Where: Rockfish Valley Community Center, 190 Rockfish School Ln, Afton, VA 22920
What to bring (optional but recommended): your drone, a laptop, and energy, attention, and a good attitude.

New ABRA Slide Presentation on Environmental Folly of ACP


Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s Pipeline CSI program has developed a new slide presentation describing the unavoidable impact of the ACP on water resources and the failure of regulatory oversight. The presentation, Pending Construction of the ACP in the Virginia Mountains: Empty Assurances, compares government and company promises with the realities of environmental review and enforcement and the record of ACP construction in West Virginia. The presentation is available for download here, as a PowerPoint or as a PDF with slide notes.

CSI Results Show ACP Violations

The Pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative (CSI) Surveillance Report for January 24, 2019, includes analysis of the November and December 2018 flight photos by CSI Aerial ImageReviewers. After the analysis, 22 separate complaints concerning regulatory non-compliance were submitted by the West Virginia Rivers Coalition to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Complaints concerned:

  • Failure to install, or delayed installation of, erosion and sediment control measures. (5 incidents)
  • Deviation from approved erosion and sediment control and construction plans. (1 incident)
  • Missing, failed, damaged, or improperly installed or maintained silt fences, filter socks, or other perimeter control devices. (13 incidents)
  • Missing, failed, damaged, or improperly constructed right-of-way diversions (water bars or slope breakers) and outlet structures. (2 incidents)
  • Sediment discharge into streams and wetlands. (1 incident)

Following a December 10, 2018 inspection conducted in response to some of these
complaints, WVDEP issued a Notice of Violation to Dominion Energy Transportation, Inc. for noncompliance with permit terms and conditions and failure to comply with the project’s approved Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.

Read further details of the January report here.

The CSI is a program of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) and its member groups. The central strength of ABRA’s CSI program is its citizen volunteers. Many people have already signed on to be part of the program, but many more are needed. Persons interested in becoming CSI volunteers can sign up by clicking here.

CSI General Information Workshop – Augusta County


The first general information workshop in Augusta County on the pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative (CSI) will be held on Saturday, January 5th, 10am-2pm, at the Stuarts Draft Rescue Squad, 10 Manor Rd., Stuarts Draft VA.

While recent wins are to be celebrated, let’s not let our guard down against ACP. Join friends and neighbors getting organized against destructive and damaging construction practices and gain the tools and training you need to blow the whistle on Dominion.

The event is free, but CSI will be providing a light lunch and the form helps them plan for numbers and dietary restrictions. Please be sure to share the link to this form with anyone you invite to this event.

REGISTER HERE.

Further information or questions: ben@blueridgegeographics.com

ABRA-CSI Seeks Help with Aerial Photo Review

Pipeline construction at Grassy Run in Upshur County, West Virginia. An example of the kind of photos that photo reviewers would be examining.

A request from Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA):

ABRA’s Pipeline Compliance Surveillance (CSI) program is seeking assistance from knowledgeable individuals who can participate as CSI Aerial Photo Reviewers. Although we especially seek the help of professionals with erosion and sediment control, stormwater management, and other water-resource backgrounds, the involvement of others is welcomed and encouraged. Aerial Photo Reviewers will perform the important task of reviewing aerial imagery and other information related to Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction in order to evaluate both compliance with regulatory requirements and the effectiveness of runoff control measures.

The Pipeline Air Force is currently obtaining hundreds of aerial photos of the 200-mile western mountainous section of the ACP construction route every one-to-two weeks. The photos, along with approved project construction plans and information concerning environmental requirements, can be accessed using the online CSI Mapping System and through the CSI website. Aerial Photo Reviewers will be able to work from any location with access to the internet. See the CSI Aerial Photo Reviewer Guidebook for an overview.

If you are interested in becoming a reviewer, please click here.