Category Archives: Dominion

Wintergreen Property Owners Plan to Sue ACP


Press Release from Friends of Wintergreen, November 20, 2017:  Nearly 1,000 Wintergreen Property Owners Plan To Sue the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  Contact Jonathan Ansell, 804-405-1109

Friends of Wintergreen announced today that nearly 1,000 Wintergreen property owners, a number that is growing daily, plan to individually sue the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for damages to their property if the pipeline company seizes land used by the Wintergreen community. These actions follow a rare split-decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve the 600-mile, 42-inch compressed natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and grant the private pipeline company the power to use eminent domain to seize private land, including 7-acres of common land at Wintergreen.

“By approving the ACP, FERC effectively guarantees a 14% profit (or over $200 million a year) to the Dominion-managed pipeline company, a return that comes at the expense of many unwilling, uncompensated or under-compensated Virginia landowners”. In the case of Wintergreen property owners, the land to be seized by the pipeline will come with no compensation to individual property owners, but significant inconvenience and damage to their property values” said Jonathan Ansell, Chairman of Friends of Wintergreen, Inc.

Most of the individual “inverse condemnation” lawsuits will be managed by the Norfolk-based eminent domain law firm, Waldo & Lyle PC. According to Brian Kunze, Partner at the firm: “Under the US Constitution and Virginia law, no private property can be damaged or taken for public use without just compensation to the owner. If a property owner does not receive compensation for the taking of land, as is the case for nearly 4,000 individual Wintergreen owners, these owners are entitled to obtain compensation under a legal procedure known as “inverse condemnation”. We intend to file these cases the day after the ACP takes Wintergreen property”.

Separately, Friends of Wintergreen and the Wintergreen Property Owners Association (WPOA) filed a legal action with FERC to halt the construction of the pipeline until a full rehearing is completed. “We believe that FERC’s approval of the pipeline was arbitrary, capricious and not supported by the substantial evidence and alternatives we and others have provided”, said Jay Roberts, Executive Director of the WPOA. “On October 13, the FERC Commission voted 2 to 1 to approve the ACP, a rare split-decision in a federal agency where 98% of votes are unanimous”, noted Ansell. The dissenting opinion was issued by a Commissioner with seven years experience on the FERC Commission; the two Commissioners who approved the ACP were each on the job for about 60 days.

Friends of Wintergreen, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to protecting and enhancing the value, beauty, integrity, and sustainability of the Wintergreen VA area.

10 Actions to Oppose Dominion’s Stranglehold on VA Politics

Writing in Blue Virginia on November 14, 2017, Josh Stanfield says, “The power dynamics in Virginia are in flux; now’s the time for everyday citizens to go all in, to insist that our representatives put our interests above those of corporate donors. Over the next several months, this struggle can and should be focused on combating the political influence of Dominion Energy in particular. … [I]n the aftermath of last Tuesday – since 13 candidates won who have pledged never to accept Dominion contributions – we have the momentum. Virginians who’ve had enough of Dominion’s stranglehold over our politics should act now, so I’ve put together a set of short-term actions below.” Thanks to Josh Stanfield and Blue Virginia for this action list covering inaugural committees, the transition, pipelines, and legislation. Read the full article for more detailed information and background.

Here is the condensed list of actions:

(1) If you want to keep Dominion money out of the inaugural committees, perhaps because you understand for-profit entities don’t give money without some expectation of return, send your concerns to:

Clark Mercer, Chief of Staff, LG Ralph Northam: Clark.Mercer@ltgov.virginia.gov, 804.786.2078.

(2) If you want a Secretary of Natural Resources and a DEQ Director without Dominion ties, send your concerns to the head of the transition team:

Marianne Radcliff: mradcliff@kemperconsult.com, 804.649.7945.

(3) Also send your concerns to Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward and DEQ Director David Paylor:

Molly Ward: molly.ward@governor.virginia.gov, 804.786.0044.

David Paylor: david.paylor@deq.virginia.gov, 804.698.4020.

(4) Attend the Water is Life Rally & Concert on Saturday, December 2nd, in Richmond. Event details here.

(5) Show up in solidarity and protest at the Virginia Water Control Board final hearings on the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines:

Mountain Valley Pipeline: 9:30 a.m.Wednesday, December 6, 2017, and Thursday, December 7, 2017. Location: Trinity Family Life Center, 3601 Dill Road, Richmond, VA 23222.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline: 9:30 a.m.Monday, December 11, 2017, and Tuesday, December 12, 2017. Location: Trinity Family Life Center, 3601 Dill Road, Richmond, VA 23222.

You can find the agendas here.

(6) Contact Governor McAuliffe and appeal to his presidential ambitions (because appeals to principle, the environment, property rights, public health, and consumer protection have been insufficient):

Paul Reagan, Chief of Staff, Gov. Terry McAuliffe: paul.reagan@governor.virginia.gov, 804.786.2211

(7) Contact Tom Perriello and urge him to use his platform to combat the proposed pipelines. Though Tom deserves a respite after months of campaigning for our amazing House of Delegates candidates, now is the time for him to rejoin the fight.

(8) Contact your representatives in the House of Delegates and State Senate. Implore them to support both a ban on contributions from public service corporations and a repeal of the 2015 “rate freeze” bill.

(9) Contact your local party officials, candidates who fell short last Tuesday, and advocacy groups. Implore them to push these ten actions.

(10) Thank the 13 Delegates-elect who pledged never to accept contributions from Dominion Energy or Appalachian Power. Remind them of the importance of supporting a ban on contributions and a repeal of the 2015 “rate freeze” bill.

Who Will Get the Money?

Why does Dominion Energy want customers to pay at least $1.5 billion for a new pipeline?

For Dominion Energy, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a sweet deal. For Virginians, it’s a scam. The state already has plenty of pipeline capacity, and Dominion has shown no evidence that it needs more. So why does Dominion want customers to pay at least $1.5 billion for a new pipeline?

On the National Resources Defense Council’s Web page, you can click to send a letter to members of the Virginia State Water Control Board opposing certification of the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines.

Proposed ACP Construction Schedule


Here is Dominion’s PROPOSED schedule for ACP construction.

Don’t forget that when they sent their original “we want your land” letters in spring 2014, Dominion planned to start construction of the ACP in the Fall of 2016 and have it in service sometime early in 2018. But Dominion did not expect so many people and organizations to fight back! And now, 3.5 years later, construction hasn’t started yet, but Dominion has a proposed construction plan.

According to their October 18, 2017, FERC filing, Dominion hopes to start the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under the Blue Ridge Parkway at the entrance to Wintergreen on April 2, 2018, with work continuing for 372 days, finishing up on April 9, 2019.

In the rest of the Nelson (and much of Augusta) construction is included in “Spread 5.” Dominion proposes starting with a one-day (yes, one day only!) environmental mitigation training on March 6, 2019. They expect construction to start on March 15, 2019 and anticipate it will take 123 days, ending by September 3, 2019. They then plan 30 days of restoration work between September 4 and October 15, 2019. (Apparently Dominion believes the process of restoring the mountains to their “original contours” should go pretty quickly!)

The planned “commissioning” process would begin before the restoration is complete and is expected to last from August 1 – October 31, 2019.

Dominion’s proposed plan does not specify when tree felling might happen along our part of the route. However tree felling, planned in both 2018 and 2019 in Virginia overall, is slated for September-March in areas where migratory birds are a concern and for November-March in areas where bats are a concern.

They plan to begin construction of the Buckingham compressor station on June 1, 2018, and anticipate finishing on August 16, 2019. Compressor station construction workers will also get a single day of environmental and mitigation training, currently scheduled for May 22, 2018.

Dominion plans call for the rest of the construction in Buckingham (which is part of “Spread 6”) to start on February 18, 2018 and continue through November 5, 2018.

Remember – this is Dominion’s proposed schedule. They never expected to run into so much resistance. And we are STILL fighting. And we have lawyers that are STILL fighting, including filing new legal challenges that could not be filed until after FERC made its decision. There are lots of required permits that STILL have not been issued — including permits that Nelson County has the authority to refuse. The longer and louder we fight, the more people are having to listen. Even long-time FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur voted AGAINST the approval of the ACP. A couple of years ago, such a thing would have been unthinkable.

So, keep making your voices heard! Tell people we won’t pipe down. Tell DEQ and the Water Control Boards not to compromise Virginia’s waterways in service of Dominion’s profits. And make sure you let your elected (and to-be-elected) representatives — especially the local ones — know that you expect them to support us in fighting to keep the ACP off our lands.