Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance has prepared the list below indicating when (after receiving all certificates and permits) proposed construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is scheduled to commence and end for those portions in West Virginia and Virginia (to the southern Buckingham County border). Each section, or spread, of the route is also detailed in a map that can be accessed here.
Each entry lists the spread mileposts, the location, and the start and end dates:
- Spread 1-1 0.0 – 17.2 Harrison, Lewis (WV) 2019 4Q 2019
- Spread 1-2 17.2 – 31.6 Lewis, Upshur (WV) 2019 4Q 2019
- Spread 2-1 36.1 – 47.3 Upshur, Randolph (WV) 2018 4Q 2018
- Spread 2-2 47.3 – 56.1 Randolph (WV) 2018 4Q 2018
- Spread 2A 56.1 – 65.4 Randolph (WV) 2018 4Q 2018
- Spread 3 65.4 – 79.2 Randolph, Pocahontas (WV) 2019 4Q 2019
- Spread 3A 79.2 – 91.3 Pocahontas (WV), Highland (VA) 2018 4Q 2018
- Spread 4 91.3 – 103.1 Highland, Bath (VA) 2019 4Q 2019
- Spread 4A 103.1 – 125.9 Bath, Augusta (VA) 2018 4Q 2018
- Spread 5 125.9 – 183.3 Augusta, Nelson (VA) 2019 4Q 2019
- Spread 6 183.3 – 239.6 Nelson, Buckingham (VA) 2018 4Q 2018
Explore the new Web page from Clean Virginia and learn [some truths] about Dominion: “Dominion Energy is a public utility providing a necessary service to customers throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, and employs thousands of hardworking Virginians who keep our lights on. But unlike other public utility companies, Dominion’s primary corporate objective is to maximize profit, not the public interest. What this means is that Dominion has consistently made choices directly in favor of its shareholders but directly opposed to the interests of Virginians. As a result, our pocketbook, health, and environment suffers.”
Thomas Hadwin (now living in Waynesboro) served as an executive for electric and gas utilities in Michigan and New York. Writing in the Roanoke Times on February 7, 2018, Hadwin says “Dominion Energy recently claimed — in several news stories and in an op-ed … that the ‘recent cold spell demonstrated a need for new pipeline infrastructure in Virginia.’ This misrepresents what really happened and proposes a solution that is wholly unnecessary and very expensive for the people of Virginia…. Dominion made it sound as if we had gas shortages throughout Virginia. What really happened was that 10 industrial customers of Virginia Natural Gas volunteered to cut back on some of their gas usage in exchange for lower rates. This voluntary curtailment involved 90 fewer industrial customers than during the polar vortex in 2013-2014. Virginia Natural Gas is owned by Southern Company, an owner of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).
“Transco, the nation’s largest pipeline, runs through our state. During this winter’s severe cold, Dominion said it relied on Transco for about 75 percent of its gas supply, including service to its newest power plant in Southside Virginia. Public utilities in North Carolina relied on the Transco system for 100 percent of the state’s supply during the cold spell, according to Dominion. Chris Stockton, a spokesman for the owners of the Transco system, said their pipelines ‘performed remarkably’ during the cold weather. ‘It’s an incredible accomplishment. It’s a testament to the system that we have,’ he said.”
Hadwin points out that:
- “Transco intends to add more than the capacity of Dominion’s proposed ACP to its existing system before the end of this year. And Columbia Gas, a pipeline that has reliably served Virginia for decades, will add almost as much capacity as the ACP in West Virginia and Virginia this year.”
- “Families and businesses throughout our state, including those in southeastern Virginia, can have access to all of the gas they need by tapping into the abundant supplies from these existing pipelines, and at a cheaper cost.”
- “In September 2017, an industry expert testified to Virginia regulators that using the ACP instead of existing pipelines could cost Dominion’s customers $1.6 billion to $2.3 billion more over the 20-year term of the contract with the ACP.”
- “PJM [the organization that coordinates electricity generation over a 13-state region that includes Virginia] has a surplus of generating capacity that is 75 percent more than it needs for normal reserves. Moreover, PJM expects the growth in electricity use to be relatively flat in Virginia over the next 15 years.”
The bottom line? “Paying more for an unnecessary new pipeline doesn’t make sense. Virginians have all the gas we need at a lower price using the existing pipelines and planned expansions without the need for new pipelines.”
At its evening meeting on February 5, 2018, the Nelson County Board of Zoning Appeals dismissed seven of Dominion’s eleven requests for variance to Nelson’s floodplain ordinance for lack of standing, and granted deferrals for a hearing on the remaining four. “Lack of standing” means that Dominion requested variances on properties it does not own or for which it has no legal right or easements; Virginia law does not permit such requests.
Dominion had requested deferment of the public hearing on all 11 properties through which they propose to route the ACP. The BZA voted unanimously for both the seven dismissals and the four deferments.
Read Dominion’s January 31, 2018, request to defer the public hearing to a later date. (Note that the letter is addressed to Nelson County’s former Director of Planning, who left the position in spring 2017, not to Sandy Shackelford, the county’s Director of Planning for the past eight months. But we all know that Dominion documents are error-prone.)
There will be no public hearing on February 12, 2018, and at this time no future hearing has been scheduled.
Also at the February 5 meeting, Draper Aden, the engineering firm hired several weeks ago by the BZA to advise them on floodplain matters, admitted it had a conflict of interest after working with Dominion in the past. At Draper Aden’s suggestion, the BZA retained Maryland-based engineering, consultation, and construction firm KCI Technologies for further engineering and technical review of the variance applications.
More sellouts and secret deals. Blue Virginia’s new article, published February 5, 2018, Three-Time Sellout: Terry McAuliffe’s Secret Mountain Valley Pipeline Deals and The Smoking Gun They Reveal reveals that in addition to the ACP pay to play deal signed before McAuliffe left office, there were two deals signed for the MVP.
Jon Sokolow writes, “On Friday, February 2, we published “Secret Sellout or Pay to Play?,” a Blue Virginia exclusive. Our article exposed what until then in Virginia had been a secret Memorandum of Understanding signed in December by the administration of then Governor Terry McAuliffe with political power broker Dominion Energy regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. …. But Friday’s Blue Virginia piece was only half of the story. It turns out the full story is much worse. Because we now know that McAuliffe made not one, not two, but three secret pipeline agreements in late December. A second agreement, which Blue Virginia is now publishing here exclusively for the first time (see below), gives the builders of the Mountain Valley Pipeline the same full waivers for damage to Virginia’s forests and water resources as were given to the ACP. …. A third secret agreement, which we also now publish here exclusively (also see below), concedes that the Mountain Valley Pipeline “will result in an adverse effect to historic properties” and has the MVP companies paying $2.5 million (possibly a bit more) in return for – you guessed it – a full release from any future responsibility. But that’s not even the worst part of this story. For anyone who cares about clean and transparent government, for anyone troubled by the outsized influence Dominion Energy has over politics – and politicians – in Virginia, you need to sit down and take a deep, deep breath. Because the real scandal is what the Mountain Valley agreements, both signed on December 22, tell us about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline agreement that was signed six days later, on December 28. And what they tell us is this: Terry McAuliffe sold Virginia’s permit approval for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for $58 million in a blatant pay-to-play scheme.”
Read the full article by Sokolow here.
Then demand that Governor Northam (804-786-2211) and the members of the Virginia’s legislature – regardless of where they stand on the pipeline – immediately revoke all three of these reprehensible agreements.
The Nelson Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) February 12, 2018, public hearing on ACP requests for variances to the Flood Plain Ordinance (FPO) will probably be postponed. Late on February 2, 2018, the Lynchburg News & Advance reported, “In a letter to the county’s planning and zoning department dated Jan. 31, Dominion’s Vice President for Pipeline Construction Leslie Hartz, on behalf of the ACP, requested a deferral of public hearings on variance applications for 11 floodplain crossings in Nelson, currently scheduled for Feb. 12. The deferral request from ACP essentially would put a pause on the Nelson variance process.”
The request must be formally accepted by the BZA, which will address it during their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday February 5. Stay tuned for a decision on rescheduling.
The variances, for 11 floodplain crossings in Nelson County totaling 4.5 miles of floodplain, 3.5 for pipeline and one mile for access roads, are required because, under Nelson’s floodplain ordinance, pipelines qualify as “critical facilities” whose construction is not normally allowed in floodplains. “Critical facilities” are prohibited because even a slight chance of flooding poses too great a threat to public health, safety, and welfare. Critical facilities include “structures that store or transport highly volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic, and/or water-reactive materials,” as well as nursing homes, police stations, and public utilities. The ordinance also lists hazardous materials, including natural gas, which may not be stored in Special Flood Hazard Areas for longer than 30 days because they “would pose an unacceptable risk…during flooding”.