Category Archives: Landowners

MVP Sued for Erosion Damage

The Roanoke Times reported on May 30, 2018, that “Six Franklin County landowners are suing Mountain Valley Pipeline“, claiming their property was damaged by the company’s failure to control storm water runoff from a construction site. “Mountain Valley has shown a ‘startling disregard’ for the impacts of building a natural gas pipeline on its neighbors, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke. After heavy rains that started May 15, a swath of bare land that crews had cleared for the pipeline’s right of way became a channel for erosion, covering nearby Cahas Mountain Road with about 8 inches of mud.”

The plaintiffs’ suit states that inadequate erosion control caused a blanket of sediment and muddy water to swamp hay fields and make its way into nearby streams on their properties. “The landowners are asking a judge to do what they say state regulators have not: order a stop to construction until Mountain Valley has taken steps to ensure that the next heavy rain will not unleash another mudslide.”

Although the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality temporarily halted construction, there has been no formal stop-work order, and construction was allowed to resume on May 22.

MVP refused to comment on the lawsuit. DEQ and Mountain Valley officials have said none of the sediment had reached nearby Little Creek or other streams. However, the article reports, “That assertion was challenged by the lawsuit, which cited an email from DEQ employee Elizabeth Abe to one of her colleagues. Abe described a stream along nearby Brick Church Road ‘so choked with mud that no water was flowing,’ according to the lawsuit. The email also reported that Abe saw no erosion control devices installed at the worksite.”

Read the full article here.

Nelson Pipeline Route Plant Rescue, June 1-2


The first Nelson County pipeline plant rescue will happen Saturday and Sunday June 1-2, 2018, with Beth and Neal of Blackberry Botanicals. They would love to have as many volunteers as possible join this first rescue to learn from Blackberry Botanicals so they can host future rescues.

Meet on Saturday at 9am off of Horizons Village Road (off Rt. 151 near Bold Rock Cidery). Take the first right after turning onto Horizons Village Road (there will be a sign). Drive through the open private property gate and continue all the way up. Someone will direct you to park in an open field at the top.

Gather at 9am in the clearing for an orientation with Blackberry Botanicals and to sign a liability waiver for your activity during the weekend. After the orientation, everyone will walk along the pipeline route and identify plants to be transplanted.

Please wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, sturdy shoes, and bring your own lunch and plenty of water. If you use insect repellant, please bring your own. Burlap sacks work well for collecting plant material as you walk. Digging implements (see photo above) are recommended.

You can watch the videos (part 1 and part 2) from the April Blackberry Botanicals training on YouTube.com/iHanuman. There is lots of good information in these videos to help you prepare for the work days.

The Sunday group is smaller (more volunteers needed if you are interested!), and will meet at 10am, most likely a little further up Horizons Village Road; location will be announced after the work day on Saturday.

Please email Sara Agelasto at sagelasto@gmail.com if you would like to participate so Blackberry Botanicals will know to expect you and can send you any last minute updates. Please also email sagelasto@gmail.com if you cannot make this first rescue, but would like to participate in future rescues.

And if you are a landowner and would like to request a rescue on your property, please email sagelasto@gmail.com so Blackberry Botanicals can schedule more rescues in the future.

Native Plant Rescue for Nelson Landowners on ACP Route


Native Plant Rescues for Landowners on the Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline Route in Nelson County, June 2-3, 2018

Blackberry Botanicals (BB) in conjunction with United Plant Savers is in the process of coordinating several plant rescue operations due to the destruction imminent in the path of several fracked gas pipelines that are slated to come through West Virginia and Virginia. On June 2-3, 2018, they will meet with interested landowners to walk the proposed pipeline route located on their property to identify and mark native medicinal plants.

Once the plants have been identified and marked, we will organize several scheduled volunteer rescue days over the course of the summer. During these digs, native medicinal plants will be carefully and sustainably harvested from their current location and either planted on the landowners property (outside of the proposed pipeline route) or will be safely transplanted to another local plant sanctuary or to the United Plant Savers Sanctuary in Ohio.

A training session in Nelson County was recorded and is available on YouTube:  Part 1 and Part 2.

If you are a landowner and would like to participate in having plants saved or if you would like to be a volunteer please contact Sara Agelasto at sagelasto@gmail.com.

For more info on Blackberry Botanicals send email blackberrybotanical@gmail.com.

Red and Minor Terry Come Down from Trees


Red and Minor Terry came down from their tree sits on May 5, 2018. Their courage has inspired the many others fighting the pipelines! [Video by Mara Robbins]

Take note of Red’s statement that “our Governor of Virginia needs to step up to the plate.” Call him often, send him a letter or a post card, and tell him to use his authority under the Clean Water Act to stop the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines. His number is 804-786-2211.

Red and Minor Terry announced they are going on tour around the Commonwealth this week. One stop: The Wednesday  May 9, 2018, annual Dominion shareholders meeting in Richmond.

The story was widely reported in the Washington Post and elsewhere.  The Blue Virginia story includes several other live videos.