At a recent breakfast banquet for its retired employees that Dominion sponsored in Stoney Creek at Wintergreen, they asked everyone who attended to sign letters (see above and below) before they left. Dominion is resorting to this kind of propaganda in order to deceive our public officials and make them believe the general public is in support of this pipeline. Notice the letters do not state that the person signing is a retired employee.
Late in the day on May 15, 2018, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that, “A federal appeals court has ordered a halt to construction of the 600-mile Dominion Energy-led Atlantic Coast Pipeline, following a legal challenge by environmental opponents who argued a review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was inadequate. A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed, striking down the review, known as an incidental take statement, which is meant to set limits on harm to threatened or endangered species during construction.”
The court’s order states, “Petitioners seek review of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Incidental Take Statement, which authorized the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project to take certain threatened or endangered species. As to five of the affected species, Petitioners argue that the agency failed to set clear limits on take as required by the Endangered Species Act. Exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 717r(d)(1), we conclude, for reasons to be more fully explained in a forthcoming opinion, that the limits set by the agency are so indeterminate that they undermine the Incidental Take Statement’s enforcement and monitoring function under the Endangered Species Act. Accordingly, we VACATE the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Incidental Take Statement. See 5 U.S.C. § 706(2). We reserve judgment on the parties’ remaining disputes until our forthcoming opinion.”
D.J. Gerten, the Southern Environmental Law Center attorney who argued the case for the Sierra Club, the Defenders of Wildlife, and the Virginia Wilderness Committee, said, “This puts a stop to any work that could threaten rare and endangered species and that’s much of the pipeline route.”
In the Washington Post report, Dominion talks about continuing construction [italics added]. “‘We remain confident in the project approvals and the ACP will continue to move forward with construction as scheduled,’ spokeswoman Jen Kostyniuk said via email. ‘We will fully comply as required while we continue to construct the project. Although we disagree with the outcome of the court’s decision, and are evaluating our options, we are committed to working with the agency to address the concerns raised by the court’s order.'”
In a statement to the press, Friends of Nelson said, “We are of course pleased with this decision from the 4th Circuit regarding the US Fish and Wildlife review of the ACP. Residents and groups fighting on behalf of impacted communities have long held that thousands of pages of documents do not necessarily end in a thorough review. Errors and omissions have been rife among agencies in charge, and political pressures have been glaringly obvious. We will wait for details of the court’s full opinion, but are most grateful for the Southern Environmental Law Center’s steadfast dedication to the communities all along the route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It is indeed a pleasure to hear a court confirm the deficiencies in at least part of the review of this project. Given the opportunity for all of the many challenges to be heard by the courts before this pipe is laid, we are confident that this project will not be built.”
The Roanoke Times editorial for May 11, 2018, asks, What would it take to change Northam’s mind on pipelines? Some advice for pipeline opponents. An interesting and important read.
Chesapeake Climate Action Network was live at the Dominion shareholders meeting in Richmond, May 9, 2018.
Dominion’s annual shareholders meeting will take place in Richmond on Wednesday May 9, 2018. Dust off your protestin’ props and join Virginia Pipeline Resisters, your friends, and your neighbors the morning of Wednesday May 9th in Richmond! We’ll send a message to Dominion’s shareholders and executives like CEO Thomas Farrell, it’s time to drop the act and invest in clean energy now!
On May 9, 2018, gather at 9am at the corner of 3rd and Marshall street. At 10:30 am everyone will march to Festival Park and assemble for a press conference and rally with some amazing speakers!
Gather in groups on the sidewalk to arrange ourselves into 4 sections:
- Political Corruption–From the General Assembly to the Department of Environmental Quality Dominion’s dirty politics threaten our democracy. Bring your best props to highlight political corruption! Dress like your favorite Dominion owned politician or bring a sign showing how much Dominion money your legislator has taken.
- Environmental Destruction–From coal ash to pipelines to fracked gas Dominion’s dirty power threatens our climate, air, land, and water. Bring your best props to highlight Dominion’s dirty environmental impacts–Bring a giant pipeline, a jar of water you want to protect, wear rubber boots to symbolize sea level rise, or put it all on a sign!
- Moral Obligation–Time after time, issue after issue, Dominion’s words and deeds show that company leadership is morally bankrupt. Are you a person of faith or just someone who thinks companies who receive public benefit should act in the public good? Then this is the spot for you! Bring your signs, banners, and props that call on Dominion to do what’s right.
- Economic Exploitation–Dominion’s greed costs consumers millions of dollars and stifles the clean energy economy. Join this section to help show that it’s not all about trees and critters, it’s about pocketbook issues too! From Dominion overcharging customers to suppressing clean energy there are real economic costs to the company’s actions.
Dominion is holding construction and job fair open houses in Augusta County on April 24 and Buckingham County on April 25 (see below and on Events calendar for details) to enlighten us about “construction activities, including safety measures.”
Writing in the April 19, 2018 News Leader, Nancy Sorrells, with Friends of Augusta, has some suggestions for questions you might ask:
- How many jobs will there be for residents of Augusta/Buckingham Counties?
- Dominion referred to approximately 400 workers showing up each day at the proposed Churchville pipe yard in Augusta, so you might inquire as to where those folks will be living.
- For communities being impacted by an influx of workers, will Dominion share numbers, expected traffic counts, and roadways being traveled, vital information for area residents who might want to adjust commuter schedules, to schools that might want to alter bus routes, and to our emergency services?
- Ask for specifics on the length of time pipes can be exposed to sunlight and weather events before the coating starts to degrade, thus endangering communities through which the compromised pipe will run.
- Ask why pipelines built in the 21st century are failing at a rate faster than any time in history, more often than those put in the ground in the 1940s.
- Ask Dominion if it is true that they plan to dynamite through streams and backfill them with cement (as shown on some of the very few site-specific plans that have been made public)
- Ask if they plan to rip off the sides of mountains, insert their pipes, and then attempt to hold those steep slopes in place with heavy-wire mesh fastened to the bedrock with 15-foot nails (as shown on some of the very few site-specific plans that have been made public)
- Ask if Dominion has seen the photos of their survey stakes under water after the three-inch rain on April 15-16, and whether or not that calls into question the safety of their scheme.
And there are many other questions that you could ask!