Four veterans spoke out Thursday, May 25, about fundamental problems they see with both the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline projects. They said they are “willing to defend their country and are going to defend their communities too.”
Retired U.S. Army officer Russell Chisholm said, “It’s really become about the control of state governments, abuse of vulnerable communities by the extraction industries.”
And retired U.S. Air Force Col. Dave Belote added,”My plea to the governor, to anyone who is elected into that role this November is stop looking backwards, let’s look forwards and let’s make the Commonwealth of Virginia a hub of clean renewable energy.”
And on May 25, 2017, members of the Veterans Service Corps sent a letter to Governor McAuliffe stating their opposition to the ACP and MVP. “These pipelines are not in the best interest of the people and we will not allow Dominion and the fossil fuel industry to put citizens in danger for the sake of their pocketbooks.”
More from Dykon Blasting Corp., a contractor doing pipeline construction work for Dominion. On their Web page they boast that “On the Dominion Gas – Appalachian Gateway project [in Pennsylvania], Dykon Blasting Corp. shot over 20,431 lineal feet of trench along with over 16,952 cubic yards of rock! With our efficiency we were able to keep the contractor on schedule and take care of all of the rock removal on the project!” Photos and videos of blasting – difficult to imagine how Dominion can say flora, fauna, and water quality will not be affected.
See also our earlier post on Dykon.
On May 10, 2017, the Washington Post reported that FERC has curtailed work on the Rover pipeline in northern Ohio after Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) reported 18 leaks and the spilling of more than 2 million gallons of drilling fluid. No new horizontal directional drilling (HDD) may begin in 8 areas where drilling was planned, and the company was told to “double the number of environmental inspectors and to preserve documents the commission wants to examine as it investigates the spills.” ETP maintains that the spills, which they say are of non-toxic drilling mud, had been predicted in their permit application, but FERC said its staff has “serious concerns” regarding the magnitude of the largest spill, “its environmental impacts, the lack of clarity regarding the underlying reasons for its occurrence, and the possibility of future problems,” and that the spill was “several orders of magnitude greater than other documented inadvertent returns for the project.”
Drilling mud a foot or two deep is visible in a video of the wetlands area provided by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Horizontal directional drilling is the process Dominion proposes for drilling under the Blue Ridge at Reed’s Gap.
A Letter to the Editor (Daily Progress, May 10, 2017) by Joseph McMoneagle discusses the move of the ACP route to the other side of the ridge from Davis Creek. “Does Dominion believe that changing sides of the mountain is going to prevent the same thing from occurring on our side as it did on the Davis Creek side — especially after removing the trees and topping the mountain ridge for almost a mile? …. Greg Park, construction manager, said that ‘some ridges may be cut as much as 10 feet, but nowhere near the 60 feet predicted by opponents.’ When did he walk our ridge line? Our mountain crest is 9 to 25 feet across for almost its full length. It has a 45- to 60-degree grade or greater. To meet his required 125-foot width to bury his 42-inch pipe, a minimum of 40-55 feet of the ridge — with accompanying trees, rocks, and underbrush — must go. It’s simple geometry.”
On May 7, 2017 a group of Pipeline Resisters hiked through the stunningly beautiful Bath County land where Bill and Lynne Limpert have built a home. They hiked up onto high ridge lines, and gathered around huge old growth trees that would be lost if construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline application is approved by FERC. Bill Limpert talked about the mountaintop removal/destruction/leveling – and FERC’s refusal to even look at Little Mountain, the particular mountain he speaks of, one of the ridges on the list for leveling. (And by the way, The Limperts have joined the Burn Your Easement Challenge and have burned their easement offer.)
A short video of Bill Limpert talking about the mountain is here.
Heidi Dhivya Berthoud’s photo montage of the hike is here.
Following news that Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline would obliterate 38 miles of ridge lines in Virginia and West Virginia, several severely impacted residents and business owners spoke at a May 4, 2017, Richmond press conference detailing their concerns and calling on McAuliffe to reject the pipeline. At the press conference outside Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office, residents demanded the Governor use his full legal authority to stop Dominion’s plan to explode entire ridge tops along 38 miles of mountains to build the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Read the full press release from Chesapeake Climate Action Network.
Read the briefing paper on mountaintop removal.
News coverage of the event outside the Governor’s office: