A video from Water Is Life. Protect It, and the Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice: Red Terry, speaking from the tree stand on her own property on Bent Mountain, in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, where local officials and MVP’s private security are trying to starve her out.
In this March 2, 2018, article from the Franklin News-Post is about Boones Mill residents in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. But what they say about the MVP and how they have been treated by its builders could be said by anyone on the path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline as well.
“‘The more that you know about this, and we have been going to meetings for three-and-a-half years, the more frightening it is,’ she said. ‘And it’s all negative. Every single bit of it is negative.'” Another landowner said, “‘They said they had the right to do anything they wanted any time they wanted and tried to make it out like they were our friends and they were working in the best interest of everybody,’ he said. He said the letters were full of legal jargon and that ‘it takes a lawyer to figure out what they were talking about and to understand it.’ He and his wife got so fed up that they told MVP any further correspondence has to go through their attorney.”
Then there is the dubious letter-writing campaign. “After getting phone calls purportedly from the Mountain Valley Pipeline asking whether they support the natural gas project, area residents received pre-written letters to the editor in the mail they could then send to the newspaper, according to recent interviews with people involved. At least three people in the region who received such letters in the mail signed and sent the missives for publication, but it’s not clear who actually wrote and originally mailed the correspondence. MVP’s Cox said she wasn’t aware of any such letters.Pittsburgh-based MVP did not claim any knowledge of the letter-writing campaign. …. ‘I am not aware of any letters being sent by landowners/community members at the request of Mountain Valley Pipeline and I can confirm that these letters did not originate from my office,’ Cox said in an email.”
The article also addresses concerns of local law enforcement. “Boones Mill Police Chief Dennis Deacon has not been contacted by MVP, but said he is very aware of the influx of workers and traffic coming into town. ‘I’m worried about the number of people who don’t have roots here and the type of people that follow these camps,’ he said. He said there is an agreement between the police department, the sheriff’s office and Virginia State Police if additional manpower is needed in case there is a disruption in town.”
“[County Supervisor Ronnie] Thompson said it’s hard to prepare for the unknown, and he’s concerned about ‘the big ugly scar that’s going to be cut through our county that’s never going to go away.’ He sees more negative aspects than positives including gas line explosions, family farms being ruined, property values decreasing and pollution of the groundwater — all of the same concerns voiced by some citizens of the town.”
Everything in the article, including the words of the MVP spokesperson (who could easily be interchangeable with ACP spokesperson Aaron Ruby) is very familiar to people in the path of the ACP.
We urge directly impacted landowners, those whose property either the actual pipeline route or access roads pass, to sign this letter to Governor Northam.
This letter is a collaboration of directly impacted landowners along the MVP and ACP and organizational partners. If you have any questions or want to sign on but can’t do so on the google form – please contact Lara Mack at Lara@appvoices.org.
How many of you think it’s only fair for the ACP to make the route adjustment we’ve asked for within our property?
These friendly, curious yearlings will check out everything new in their pasture, including people (they were coming to check me out when I snapped this picture). You can tell from the facilities in the background that we often bring cattle through this area. ACP wants to bisect our entire property and especially, this central field.
We have lots of evidence that pipeline folks do not understand cattle, farming, or the needs of our 100+ year old business. ACP wants to start construction in about a month, but so far, there’s been no discussion of fences to keep these animals or others who come through this field regularly, out of the construction area. I’m not sure the judge who said we’ve got plenty of time to build fence understands that a quick electric fence won’t do the job.
In 2014 we began asking for the pipeline to be moved within OUR property so that it will create fewer problems for our business during construction, reduce the frequency with which we must cross it from now on, and give us a little more safety by moving our buildings to the edge of the incineration zone instead of the middle of it. We are only 4 miles after the compression station so the gas will be at highest pressure. Because we are rural, we only get the lowest safety standards allowed, thinnest pipe, cut off valves 20 miles apart instead of 3 miles apart, last century remote monitoring. We’ve been told that our air is so clean we can afford the new pollution load.
Our multiple requests to move the pipeline within our property are well documented – and ignored by all involved. No written offer for an easement addressed any of our business or safety concerns/ requests. Ultimately, that’s why we never accepted an offer and why they took us to court this week.
Property rights have always been central values of our country and greatly impact the ability of people to achieve their American Dream. While many decry any hint of ANY limitation on what they call Second Amendment Rights, few seem to be willing to fight for property rights that I’d argue are even more central to our ability to succeed in our markets and to our very freedom as citizens.
The ACP is taking a strip of our property for a mile literally through the middle of our business.This will negatively impact us from this point on. It is a government sanctioned way of transferring our asset to a for profit company that is set up as an LLC so it has ultimate protections while granting us no protection (in fact putting extra obligations on us). From now on, the ACP’s interest in our property is legally higher than ours, even though we continue paying property taxes but get no annual income from this infrastructure, only a small one time payment (don’t know what it will be, but when we do, divide it by 70 years and see if it’ll even cover the taxes, much less compensate us for lost value, compensate us for the additional risk and daily hassle of respecting this unsafe infrastructure placed in the middle of our property).
Just curious, how many of you think it’s only fair for the ACP to make the route adjustment we’ve asked for within our property?
March 2, 2018
Dear Property Owner,
On Wednesday, a Federal Court in Lynchburg ruled in favor of the ACP and against landowners fighting the ACP’s early access to their property and Eminent Domain. On the advice of legal counsel, WPOA did not participate and instead focused on pursuing mediation, a FERC rehearing and other legal/political options to protect our community.
As many of you know, WPOA has contested Dominion’s right to seize our property for over two years and will continue the fight to be made whole for all current and future damages. Determining fair compensation will take time however construction will not be delayed during this process. Construction will likely commence and owners should anticipate tree cutting could begin any day.
Public opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is significant and is likely to include protests on or near Wintergreen. Because WPOA has its own police department which is recognized by Virginia Code 9.1-101 we are placed in a very tenuous position. For many owners, it may come as a shock to hear that our police department would be called to enforce the peace during protests. The courts do not allow Wintergreen Police to choose which laws to enforce and law enforcement is considered neutral in all circumstances, applying the law of the land equally and fairly. For the Wintergreen Police to enforce laws at individual homes or condos, they must also enforce the law on all WPOA “open space” which includes the Dominion easement.
This situation presents uncharted territory for all of us. We anticipate there will be some protesting and WPOA respects everyone’s constitutional right to peaceably assemble and to exercise free speech. If however there is an infraction of the law, Wintergreen Police will work with the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and the State Police to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth. Although ultimately up to the Sheriff, owners should anticipate there will be verbal warnings, court summons, and arrests if necessary.
No Intruders on Our Land: a new video from Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. “The land is our family tree and it speaks of legacies, heritage, and memories,” says Valerie of Halifax Co, NC. Duke and Dominion get off. Contact Gov Cooper (NC) and Gov. Ralph Northam (VA) and ask them to rescind approval of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.