Category Archives: Events

Nelson County Residents Turn out in Droves at FERC Hearing to Voice Their Opposition to the ACP

Hundreds of Nelson County residents showed up at the Nelson County High School in Lovingston on Wednesday, February 22nd, to tell the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that they oppose the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) in Nelson County. 

Despite the fact that FERC insisted on a format for the hearing in which people were taken one by one into private rooms to make their comments to FERC, Nelson County residents were united in their opposition to the pipeline.  “Nelson county is really speaking with one voice saying we don’t want this pipeline,” said Ernie Reed, president of Friends of Nelson County (ABC 13 WSET). 

From environmental impacts to the loss of private property, residents reiterated their many concerns to FERC about the pipeline and continued to voice their strong opposition to its construction in Nelson County and across Virginia.  Many expressed deep concern over the fact that FERC appears to have ignored the views of residents and independent organizations when creating the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS).  “They haven’t done their research,” said Amelia Williams. “There’s all kinds of data that they’ve failed to gather” (WFXR Fox News).  “This draft environmental impact statement is a joke,” said Joyce Burton of Friends of Nelson. “If they don’t listen then when the environmental impact statement comes out and we don’t see that they’ve taken our concerns seriously, well that’s what the courts are for” (WDBJ 7). 

Several news outlets covered the public hearing in Nelson County, including  WDBJ 7, NBC 29, WSET 13, CBS 19, and WFXR Fox News.


Nelson County Community Public Hearing on the Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Friends of Nelson Press Release, February 21, 2017 (Contacts: Ernie Reed,, 434-249-8330, and Kirk Bowers,, 434-296-8673)


Nelson County Community Public Hearing on the Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Date: Wednesday, February 22, 6-9 p.m.
Location: Nelson County Middle School, 6925 Thomas Nelson Hwy, Lovingston, VA 22949

Local citizen groups will hold a Community Public Hearing on Wednesday, February 22 from 6-9 p.m. at the Nelson County Middle School. The hearing will be held concurrently with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s “Listening Session” on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is conducting public listening sessions in Virginia regarding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) at different locations throughout the state. The Nelson County FERC session begins at 6:30 p.m. at the adjacent Nelson County High School.

Concerned citizens will be gathering in the Nelson County Middle School library at the same time as the FERC meeting, to provide a welcome environment for the public to share information and show opposition to the ACP.

FERC has refused to hold true Public Hearings on the proposed ACP, instead holding “Listening Sessions” where citizens sit in a closed room with a scribe and speak their 3 minutes of comments in secrecy.

“The FERC process makes a mockery of the concept of a Public Hearing,” said Ernie Reed, President of Friends of Nelson. “FERC has also cut the time for public comment in half in Nelson County, severely limiting the time available for citizens to make their comments. This is despite the fact that opposition to the pipeline is strongest and the destructive impacts most significant here in Nelson County.”

“The alternate community hearing is intended to highlight the continuing lack of transparency and public disclosure by the FERC during the environmental review process,” said Kirk Bowers of the Sierra Club. “The community meeting will provide an open forum for the community to prepare comments on the proposed pipeline for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.”

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a proposed $6 billion, 42”, high-compression pipeline that would carry fracked natural gas from West Virginia, across Virginia to North Carolina and the Tidewater area, causing environmental and economic damage to communities and private properties that it does not serve. Polls confirm that a majority of Virginians doesn’t want it, and gubernatorial candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties have come out strongly against it.

A press conference with local citizens opposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be held at 6:10 p.m. at the Nelson County Middle School library. We encourage the press to attend and interview participants at that time.

To download the full press release from Friends of Nelson, click here

Need Help Crafting Your Public Comment to FERC? Friends of Nelson Can Help

If you are planning or want to attend the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Public Hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Lovingston on Wednesday, February 22nd, but aren’t sure what to say during your three-minute speaking allotment, Friends of Nelson can help.  From 6:00 pm on, Friends of Nelson will be available in the Nelson County Middle School library (right next door to the high school, where FERC’s hearing will be held) for help and support.  Come gather with us and share information, prepare comments, and wait for your number to be called by FERC for the public comment session. 

FERC Hearing in Nelson, February 22, 2017

The FERC hearing in Nelson on the DEIS will be Wednesday February 22, 2017. Be there!

This is our chance to speak up in opposition about the seriously flawed and unacceptably inadequate Draft Environmental Impact Statement. We need as many people as possible to attend – flooding FERC – showing and voicing our disapproval and aversion towards this grossly unnecessary and dangerous pipeline.

Come early to sign up for a number to speak! Comments will NOT be taken in public. Speakers’ comments will be taken in a private room with a stenographer. (This is FERC’s idea of a “public hearing.”) It is therefore crucially important that everyone who gives comments brings a paper copy to give to the stenographer and that everyone ALSO submits their comments to FERC – online or via USPS – so that there is an irrefutable paper trail.

See our Events page for details on other FERC hearings in our area:  Farmville on February 21, Staunton on February 23, and Monterey on February 28.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not needed, and we don’t want this 42″, 600-mile fracked gas pipeline. We want clean water, healthy air, our precious lands to stay intact, and a safe future.

Reminder – Community Meeting – February 12, 2017

Join us on Sunday February 12, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Rockfish Valley Community Center for a community meeting. The featured guest will be Thomas Hadwin, speaking on “Challenging the Purpose and Need of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.” Thomas has worked for electric and gas utilities in Michigan and New York and has written numerous articles, reports and FERC submissions on the absence of any public need or benefit for the ACP. We’ll also discuss the upcoming FERC hearings on the DEIS.

Resistance Training

Join POWHR-Protect Our Water Heritage Rights, their member organizations, and friends on Saturday February 25, 2017, from 9-5 in Pearisburg VA for a day-long training exploring nonviolent direct action: what it is, how it’s done, and where it fits in a campaign. The goal of the training is to provide attendees with the knowledge and understanding to participate in a coordinated but organic opposition on the regional level.

For further information or to register, see POWHR’s Resistance Training page.