Category Archives: Take Action

Pipeline CSI Local Coordination/Compliance Review Workshop


You are invited to attend a Pipeline CSI Local Coordination/Compliance Review Workshop on Tuesday, October 23 from 10am-1pm at the Rockfish Valley Community Center.

The ACP and MVP construction work that has occurred so far is alarming, and the agencies seem unwilling or unable to ensure compliance with basic environmental requirements meant to protect us all. The importance of the CSI could not be more clear.

Many of you have expressed an interest in the CSI effort by completing our online form or by other means, and we hope you can attend. If not, we hope you can attend one of the next upcoming workshops that are in the works. We are making plans to hold similar meetings this season in Augusta and Buckingham Counties in Virginia and in Pocahontas and Buckhannon Counties in West Virginia.

If you can join us, please RSVP at the link below so that we can get a head count for the lunch we’d like to provide.

Seating will be limited to ~40, so please RSVP sooner rather than later. An outline of our day’s agenda is below (may be subject to adjustments).

RSVP Link: https://goo.gl/forms/Gh8L0ZZKQDanuj8Y2

Please contact Ben Cunningham (ben@blueridgegeographics.com) with any questions or concerns regarding this upcoming workshop.

AGENDA:  October 23, 10-1, Rockfish Valley Community Center, Rockfish, Va.

CSI Local Coordination/Compliance Review Workshop

1.    Introduction
     A.    Description of meeting content and objectives
     B.    Components of incident review
     C.    Data management
2.    Local coordinator playbook
     A.    Organization of local coordinators
          a.     ACP geographic segments
     B.    Volunteers
          a.     Volunteer roles (observers and water data collectors)
          b.    Recruiting/training/deploying
     C.    Landowners
          a.     Engagement plus access to observation and water sampling locations
          b.    Recruiting/signing
     D.    Pipeline construction process
     E.    Top ten compliance issues
     F.    Incident identification flow process
3.    CSI Mapping System
     A.    Content and Navigation
     B.    Use for compliance review
4.    Compliance issues
     A.    List of top ten issues and related regulatory requirements
     B.    Photos related to each issue
     C.    Discussion of photo documentation
5.    Submitting complaints to agencies
     A.    Virginia DEQ
     B.    West Virginia DEP
     C.    FERC
     D.    Forest Service
6.    Meeting wrap-up
     A.    Designation of local coordinators
     B.    Identified loose ends
     C.    Need for additional work sessions/meetings
          a.     Local Coordination/Compliance Review Workshops
          b.    General CSI Overview Meetings
          c.     CSI Mapping System training
          d.    Drone workshops
          e.     Water quality monitoring training

 

 

Spruce Creek Camp Speaker Schedule, October 12-14

Spruce Creek Camp for the October 12, 2018, weekend: another lineup of great speakers and interesting activities.  Registration required, but there is still time to register!

Friday evening:

7:00 pm Richard Averitt – video of presentation given recently to the Congress on how this destructive project has affected his family.

8:00 pm VSEC – update on MVP tree sits

Saturday:

9 am Woody Greenberg – Brief history of Nelson, discussion of 1969 Hurricane Camille devastation and parallels to pipeline construction

10-11:30 am – Walk the property with Joyce Burton and Richard Averitt

11:30 am – Friends of Buckingham – compressor station at Union Hill

Lunch – Doug Wellman – alternatives to gas and coal power generation

1:30-5:00 – offsite activity – visit to steep slopes of proposed pipeline route on Roberts Mountain; visit to proposed HDD site at Wintergreen

5 pm – Circle of Protection

Dinner

7 pm – Ben Cunningham on CSI

Campfire and musicians

Spruce Creek Camp: Speakers and Events


Oct. 8th, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jill Averitt 434-262-3417, sprucecreekgathering@gmail.com

Spruce Creek Camp: Speakers and Events

Nellysford, VA: Activists opposed to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) are inviting the public to camp on property in its path the first three weekends in October to learn why Nelson County residents are fighting to prevent its construction.

During the first weekend of camp, attendees heard talks and presentations from a number of Nelson County citizen experts, toured local properties that would be affected by the pipeline, and participated in selected topic discussions.

Woody Greenberg, a former reporter, retired Lynchburg College professor, and former member of the Board of Supervisors, and current Secretary of the Nelson Historical Society, gave a brief history of the county and described in detail the devastating effect Hurricane Camille had here due to the intense flooding and landslides that killed 124 people. He emphasized that unstable soils on our steep slopes could fail again during or after construction of a massive 42” pipeline.

Joyce Burton, Friends of Nelson land owner liaison, described how individual properties in the immediate vicinity would be impacted by the pipeline. Effects include contamination of drinking water, wetland and stream bed degradation, ridgetop and old growth tree removal, the economic impact on a newly built country inn, and in one case, elimination of an entire residence due to the proximity of the ACP pipe to its septic and water systems. She also described the inherent pitfalls of ACP’s plan to tunnel under the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway using the Horizontal Drilling (HDD) technique.

Peter Agelasto, President and Founder of the Rockfish Valley Foundation, led a tour of an old mill site near Spruce Creek in the historic area of Wintergreen Village and showed how the proposed pipeline would run thorough the valley’s only archeological site.

Host landowner and anti-pipeline activist, Richard Averitt, described the camp property and his family’s plans to build an eco-resort there. He led a tour of the site and showed the group the deleterious effects the ACP would have on Spruce Creek waterbody. He also showed a slide presentation given recently to the Congress on how this destructive project has affected his family.

Susan McSwain, a Nelson County master naturalist, led the group on a nature walk where she identified native and invasive plants.

Randy Whiting, a resident of Horizons Village adjoining the camp property, led a tour and showed the group where the pipeline would destroy a forest wetland in that community.

Todd Rath, a local cidery owner, related how the project would endanger the water supplies so necessary for his business and, in turn, impact local tourism.

Doug Wellman, vice president of Friends of Nelson, offered the group local alternatives to gas and coal power generation. There are a number of roof top solar projects in the county and nearby, on residences, schools and community centers. There are also solar alternative projects being done by the utilities and electric coops themselves as well as many nearby commercial projects. The energy source profile is changing but many laws and regulations still need to catch up. Off-shore wind, a stable energy source in many European countries is just now beginning to be exploited in Virginia. He also said that energy conservation remains an effective strategy especially for low income residents who would benefit from paying less in utility bills.

Ernie Reed, former president of Friends of Nelson and current member of the Board of Supervisors, discussed how the attendees could influence decision makers and the media in this fight and the importance of continuing to mount legal challenges. He advocated having as many tools as possible to fight pipelines in order to preserve our environment and property rights.

During the weekend of October 12-14, speakers will discuss Nelson County legal challenges, highlight our Compliance Surveillance Initiative (CSI) program, and give a presentation on the proposed Buckingham compressor station; there will be more tours of local properties, and a “Circle of Protection” at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

The Camp, which is free, will be held Fridays through Sundays the next two weekends of October. Pre-registration is required:  REGISTER HERE. “We feel finances should not be a barrier to enjoy the beauty of our area. Donations will be gratefully accepted for Friends of Nelson and Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice.”

Groups Invite Public to Camp on Land Under Threat from Pipeline


Sept. 21, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jill Averitt 434-262-3417, sprucecreekgathering@gmail.com

Nellysford, VA: Activists opposed to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are inviting the public to camp on property in its path the first three weekends in October to learn why Nelson County residents are fighting to prevent its construction.

“Camping on the path of the proposed pipeline – ‘camptivists’ will learn what makes the area unique through talks, conversation and first-hand encounters with the land,” says a statement by Friends of Nelson, the Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice, and Jill Averitt. Spruce Creek Camp, the site of the encampment, is on the Averitt’s property.

“The gatherings will be peaceful, family-friendly weekends of camping, experiencing the grandeur of the natural world,” the statement says. It will allow campers to “connect with locals and learn about what is at stake.”

According to the statement, “Local experts will share why the history, ecology, and the community of Nelson Country makes the fight to keep the pipeline out of this beautiful valley so critical, and why non-carbon sources of energy and other economic strategies are now viable alternatives to large scale fossil fuel projects.”

The sponsors believe that “recent court decisions indicate it’s not too late to stop this pipeline and save the affected property, water, public parks and forests.”

Nelson County is home to many tourist destinations such as the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Wintergreen Ski Resort, the Rockfish Valley Natural History Center, the Nelson County Farmers Market, and the new Brew Ridge Trail made up of wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries.

According to the statement, “all these local attractions will be severely affected should this pipeline be constructed. We are proud to invite you to come stay with us and experience all there is to love about Nelson County and its people.”

The Camp, which is free, will be held Fridays through Sundays the first three weekends of October. Pre-registration is requested – register here.

“We feel finances should not be a barrier to enjoy the beauty of our area. Donations will be gratefully accepted for Friends of Nelson and Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice,” the statement says.

Say NO to Dominion’s Application to Release Air Pollution


The comment period for the Air Quality Permit has been extended to September 21, 2018. There is still time for you to tell the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board to deny Dominion’s application for a permit to release air pollution that will threaten the health and well-being of residents in the Union Hill neighborhood and beyond. Don’t wait – let your voice be heard!

Submit your comments to:

DEQ, Piedmont Regional Office
Re: Buckingham Compressor Station

E-mail:
airdivision1@deq.virginia.gov

Mail:
Piedmont Regional Office
4949-A Cox Rd.
Glen Allen, VA 23060

Fax:
(804) 527-5106

What is the concern?

The draft permit prepared by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is woefully deficient, failing to provide the analyses and the levels of protection the law requires.

Dozens of people spoke at a public hearing on September 11th, most explaining technical and legal problems with the proposal and opposing issuance of the permit. Please add your voice to that strong message, to let the citizen members of the Air Board know you oppose this illegal and unethical proposal to victimize citizens for private profit.

What to say?

Even if you lack technical expertise, you can raise important issues the Board is legally-obligated to consider.

These include:

  • The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is not needed to supply energy to the areas Dominion claims would be served and
  • DEQ has failed to properly consider whether the placement of the facility is appropriate or to acknowledge the violation of environmental justice principles.

For further ideas, information, and background, go to Wild Virginia’s page on commenting.