Category Archives: Take Action

No, Not a Done Deal

Despite what Dominion wants you to think, the ACP is NOT a done deal. Thanks to Mara Eve Robbins for this reflection on where we are now.

Several people, over the past couple of days, have approached me with regret–and even apology–about the recent decisions by the NC DEQ and the WV DEP and the FERC to issue water permits for the ACP and federal construction “approval” for the MVP in WV. They’ve said things like “I’m so sorry that the pipeline has been approved.” As if we are going to simply accept these certifications at face value and quit fighting. As if they mean we have to swallow what lies they throw our way. NOPE. Spit them out and keep pushing back, moving forward, showing up. Please.

The corporations and regulatory agencies play this card exactly how you might expect them to, by jumping on the media bandwagon to shout their “victory.” To assure us that they are taking all the necessary precautions.

Please do not believe them.

There are many landowner lawsuits still pending. There are legal challenges to the very application of eminent domain and the natural gas act. There are inherent contradictions in the scope of the permits issued by the VA DEQ regarding erosion and sedimentation, wastewater treatment and the ludicrous assertion that the DEQ is supposed to oversee the removal of trees but not the cutting of trees. Classic “chicken or the egg” scenario. Utterly ridiculous. Please do not fall for it.


So please, ask someone who has been fighting this for nearly four years how we will keep fighting. Ask us what there is to be done NOW. Keep speaking out about the value and worth of our clean water which is a far more precious commodity than fracked gas will ever be. Keep saying NO PIPELINES. Because we are not stopping until we STOP THE PIPELINES and there are still so many things we can do. Are doing. Will do. Will CONTINUE to do.

Try this instead: “Wow, there’s been some discouraging news this week regarding the pipelines. That must be difficult. How can I help?” We need support, not sympathy. We need hands on deck, not to be thrown overboard. We need you to believe US, not Dominion or EQT or Duke or NextEra and their PR clowns. We need you to challenge the powers that be side by side with us, relentlessly: Governors, congress, senators, delegates, local government, regulatory officials, industry, corporate media.

We must not give up, give in, or slow down. Now is the time to fight harder, combat and contrast the ridiculous media window open briefly to these perceived “approvals.” Because the people united will never be defeated. And the people overwhelmingly oppose these fracked gas monstrosities breathing down the necks of those who care about our region, our neighbors, our water, our mountains and our climate.

Water is Life. Protect it. STOP THE PIPELINES.

ABRA Announces Pipeline CSI

Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance announced on January 22, 2018, the launching of the Pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative (Pipeline CSI) to monitor construction activities of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. A copy of the press release sent to media in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina is reproduced below.

Additional details about Pipeline CSI, including how persons in ABRA member organizations can become involved, will be forthcoming over the next couple of weeks.

Press release from the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, January 22, 2018

Media Contact: Rick Webb, Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition,, 540-290-0913
Lewis Freeman, Allegheny Blue Ridge Alliance,, 540-468-2769

Citizen Surveillance Launched for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

A citizen initiative to monitor construction activities of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is being launched today by the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA), a coalition of over 50 organizations in Virginia and West Virginia. The objective of the Pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative (Pipeline CSI) is to ensure strict application of environmental laws and regulations for the ACP.

“We strongly believe that the ACP is unneeded and cannot be built safely without causing permanent damage to the environment, particularly critical water resources,” stated Rick Webb of the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition, who is chairing the development of the new ABRA program. “We will continue to challenge the government decisions involving the project. But, with certain pre-construction activities already underway, citizen oversight is essential given the limited resources of government agencies that are responsible for regulating pipeline construction.”

Continuing, Webb said “the need for citizen oversight of pipeline construction has been made clear by observations of recent pipeline projects and ineffective government agency response to repeated violations and water resource harm. We have no reason to expect more from the agencies during construction of the ACP, given their failure to require submission of complete environmental plans prior to project approval. This deferral of critical review and analysis sets the stage for significant and long-term degradation of high-quality streams and groundwater supplies.”

The Pipeline CSI is gathering in-depth data and assessing the landscape the ACP is proposed to cross to fill in information gaps in official records. The effort will involve hundreds of volunteer observers in Virginia and West Virginia. The program will include extensive water quality monitoring and aerial reconnaissance. Initial phases of the Pipeline CSI will focus on mountainous areas of the pipeline route, where ACP construction threatens water quality in the headwaters of some of the major watershed systems in the eastern United States. Results from the information gathered will be shared with regulatory agencies and the media.

The ACP received a permit for construction from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on October 13, subject to the project receiving other state and federal agency approvals. FERC approved on January 19 limited tree felling for the ACP.

Tree Cutting – Action Alert!

Call Gov. Northam and tell him to stop Dominion’s tree cutting for the unwanted and unnecessary ACP.

FERC just approved Dominion’s request for early tree removal (using chainsaws). Area impacted around Wintergreen is the blue line in the red box. DEQ has not issued permits! Call the Governor of Virginia.

FERC says it’s ok for Dominion to take down trees before receiving all approvals. Write to Governor Ralph Northam and other elected officials — stop Dominion’s end run around state agencies, leaving a swath of destruction in their wake.

Action Alert: Stop Tree Clearing for Pipelines

Call the Governor Today! We can stop tree clearing for pipelines. Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Our new Governor has the authority and duty to protect our waters and our communities from the Mountain Valley Pipeline and Atlantic Coast Pipelines.

Governor Northam must uphold the principles he has supported for many months and we ask that you let him know that you will support him in doing the right thing. It is not too late for Virginia to meet its Clean Water Act duties. Learn More Here.

Contact the Governor today and urge him to:

  • See that his administration prohibits any construction, including clearing of trees, for either pipeline unless and until all conditions of water quality certifications are met,
  • Order the DEQ to conduct individual Clean Water Act section 401 reviews for stream and wetland crossings covered by the Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide 12 Permit,
  • Ensure that DEQ provides for public notice and comment on additional plans ACP is required to submit and that there is a clear procedure for the State Water Control Board to review and decide whether the certification will become effective.

Call the Governor:  
804-786- 2211

Email him through his Chief of Staff:

Petition: Demand Greater Scrutiny of the ACP and MVP

Earlier this month, Senator Tim Kaine called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to hold rehearings for the Atlantic Coast (ACP) and Mountain Valley (MVP) fracked-gas pipelines.

Show your support for Senator Kaine’s request and urge your Congressional representatives to do the same!

The ACP and MVP would be the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the region with more than 95 million tons of GHG emissions per year. These pipelines would increase the threat of climate change and impose significant environmental damage to our mountains, streams and rivers.

We don’t need these pipelines to meet our energy needs. Companies like Dominion Energy have created the illusion of demand by selling the pipeline’s capacity to their own subsidiaries.

Sign the Sierra Club petition! Ask your representative to call on FERC for rehearings now!

Stone Walls Along the Blue Ridge

Photo by Nancy Sorrells

In the December 10, 2017 Staunton News Leader, Nancy Sorrells of Augusta County writes about the threat the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline poses to the historic dry stone walls that traverse both both the east and west face of the Blue Ridge. “The grey and green lichen and moss-covered walls of stone meander through the forest like silent sentinels of history. Long ago, settlers on the western slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Augusta County, and on the eastern slopes in Nelson, lived proud and independent lives on their subsistence farms. These stone walls were an integral part of their daily farming activities,” protecting crops and gardens and enclosing animals.

Although morterless, the walls are remarkably stable, and still stand “horse-high and hog tight,” snaking for miles along Blue Ridge slopes. Late 18th and early 19th century settlers in our part of Virginia’s Blue Ridge came from the Ulster region in the north of Ireland; scholars have suggested that the differing styles of the walls may be attributed to different kin groups.

“The only threat today to these walls is a natural gas pipeline. To date, Dominion will not acknowledge the need to avoid these walls during their construction activities. Should Dominion build its pipeline through these walls, there is no mitigation that can restore what those artisans created centuries ago.

If the destruction of these walls worries you, please write to Julie Langan, Virginia Department of Historic Resources Director, 2801 Kensington Ave., Richmond, VA 23221. Express your concern over the potential loss of these important resources and suggest that the pipeline route be moved to protect the historic stone walls.