Category Archives: Friends of Nelson

Friends of Nelson Press Release: ACP Impacts Terrifying; Official Documents Irredeemably Flawed


Friends of Nelson Press Release, July 24, 2017
Contact: Ernie Reed, 434-971-1647, lec@wildvirginia.org

On Friday [July 21, 2017], the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). Also on Friday, the United States Forest Service released its draft Record of Decision that could allow permitting of the ACP through the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests. Friends of Nelson concludes that these documents are “irredeemably flawed.”

The reports rely solely on the project developer’s claims of need for the 600-mile, $5.2 billion pipeline, which would yield substantial profit for Dominion Energy and the other private companies behind the project, while the public would be saddled with the long-term and permanent financial, environmental and health costs.

Ernie Reed, President of Friends of Nelson noted that “The FEIS paints a terrifying picture of a bleak future: 4,892 acres of interior forest habitat would be eliminated, creating 30,025 acres of new forest edge habitat and destroying 214 acres of National Forests…1,669 waterbody crossings, threatening native trout streams and severing Potomac, James and Roanoke River watersheds…permanent scars on the Appalachian Trail…100 miles of construction on steep slopes including those in Nelson County…and the truth is actually worse, as the combined impacts of the ACP and MVP (Mountain Valley Pipeline) are never considered…and all this to give Dominion and Duke Energy enough gas to burn our way into hell.”

“It is beyond shocking that FERC has thus far not completed essential biological studies or consultation with the US Department of Fish and Wildlife Service, and how much is being left to state agencies to address later,” said Marilyn Shifflett of Friends of Nelson. “This document is premature and incomplete and its conclusions defy science and logic.”

In Nelson County, construction is predicted to take longer than a year, including creation of the landing and drill pad to be located adjacent to the entrance to Wintergreen and a still-unanalyzed 2.5 million gallon water impoundment on the Rockfish River. The bulldozing, trenching and blasting in areas of cultural and historical value in Wingina, Dutch Creek, Wheeler’s Cove and the Rockfish Valley have all been deemed “insignificant” by FERC.

“The destructive effects on our economy, our roads, our water and our community are unfathomable,” Reed said.

Confirming what Friends of Nelson has long maintained—and what independent soil scientists have affirmed—the FEIS tellingly asserts that “considering the historic and recent landslide incidence in the immediate project area…we conclude that constructing the pipelines in steep terrain or high landslide incidence areas could increase the potential for landslides to occur.” Yet development of other slope instability/landslide risk reduction measures have not been completed and have not been adopted.

“How can landowners determine what kind of impacts the construction on steep slopes will have if the details of how ACP is going to manage them are still ‘under development’?” asked Joyce Burton of Friends of Nelson. “And furthermore, why would Dominion be willing to put Virginia citizens and water resources at risk by building it?”

“The most significant thing about this release is that it brings us one step closer to stopping the Atlantic Coast Pipeline,” Burton continued. “We have spent the last 3 years building our legal case, documenting the potential impacts to residents with expert economic and steep-slope studies and water quality analysis that clearly define the danger this presents to Nelson County. Now this is all coming to a head.”

“It is inconceivable that anyone could conclude, as FERC and the USFS do, that the massive impacts of the ACP are ‘less than significant’,” Reed concluded. “This will not be allowed to happen.”

Letter to Landowners on Nelson County ACP Route


Friends of Nelson has sent the following letter and invitation to Nelson County landowners on the ACP route:

Dear Landowner,

Do you have questions about eminent domain?

How the compensation amounts for landowners are determined?

What the legal process in eminent domain cases is?

What the timing of events is most likely to be?

What you can do to fight for your land?

What happens now?

If you have ever wondered about any of the above then please join Friends of Nelson, and lawyers from Appalachian Mountain Advocates for an informative Landowner Meeting on Thursday, August 3rd at 7pm, at the Rockfish Valley Community Center in Afton.

The guest speaker will be Chris Johns, a prominent Texas attorney who has not only handled many jury trials on pipeline cases but also teaches eminent domain and private-property rights at the University of Texas School of Law. He has created a primer on eminent domain and will be present to talk about the process of eminent domain and answer your questions on the subject.

Landowners who have property on the pipeline route or on an access roads are invited and encouraged to attend.

If you have any questions about this meeting please do not hesitate to contact Randy Whiting at 434-529-7247.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

New Map: The ACP in Nelson County


Friends of Nelson’s Ben Cunningham has produced an interactive map showing the ACP route through Nelson County. See the map here (21MB so it may take a few moments to load). The 125 foot clear cut ACP right of way is shown in orange, the 1100 blast radius zone in light orange, and the access roads in red. You can zoom in by clicking control-+. Where is your property on the map?

Friends of Nelson Public Meeting, July 23, 2017


Join us at Rockfish Valley Community Center on Sunday July 23, 2017, 6:30 pm, for the latest updates on our pipeline fight and to hear David Sligh discuss Virginia Water Quality Permitting, the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Public comment period and public hearings and the current situation with the proposed route across National Forest Lands.

Friends of Nelson Public Meeting, July 23, 2017


Friends of Nelson Public Meeting, Sunday July 23, 2017, Rockfish Valley Community Center, 6:30 pm. We’ll have a Nelson County update on the ACP, then Dave Sligh, Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition and Wild Virginia’s Conservation Director, will update us on the Virginia Water Quality Permitting, the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) public comment period and public hearings, and the current situation with the proposed route across National Forest Lands.

Friends of Nelson Welcomes Pipeline Route Walkers to Nelson County


MEDIA ADVISORY

Contacts: Jessica Glendinning, (pipeline walker), 434-202-4285; Ernie Reed, Friends of Nelson, 434-249-8330

Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 1pm
Location: Three Ridges Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, Mile Marker 12.9, Nelson County, VA (north of #664/Beech Grove Rd.)

Friends of Nelson and citizens of Nelson County will welcome the “Walking the Line” hikers to Nelson County, Tuesday, June 27 at 1 pm at Three Ridges Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. They are tracing the proposed path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The walkers embarked over a week ago on the 2-week pilgrimage to draw public attention to the devastation that would be unleashed by the proposed pipeline. This 140-mile segment of the hike, which closely follows the proposed route, began on June 17 in Bath County and will end on July 2 in Buckingham County.

By meeting the affected people—and seeing firsthand the mountains, ridges, countryside, rivers, streams and wetlands that would be impacted by the proposed pipeline—the hikers will be able to speak from their hearts about the consequences of this highly destructive and unnecessary project.

Nelson County residents will be joining the hikers at Reed’s Gap as they hike east down along Beech Grove Road, where the proposed ACP would emerge after boring 4200’ through the mountain beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail. They will be spending the night in Nellysford before continuing through Gullysville, then along the ridgetop of Roberts Mountain, which would be leveled by proposed construction.

The hikers will continue towards Wheeler’s Cove on their way to Wingina, the James River and eventually Buckingham County.

For more information see the Walking the Line Webpage at http://walkingtheline.org.

Organizers, pipeline walkers and impacted Nelson County residents will be available for interview.