Category Archives: Tree cutting

Online Resources from the Pipeline CSI

The Pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative (CSI), a program of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA), has made the following online resources available to citizens who are contending with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and other major pipelines in the central Appalachian region:

 
An online submission form is available for citizen reports concerning stream impacts and noncompliance with environmental requirements for pipeline construction. The reporting form has been developed as a collaborative effort involving multiple organizations, and it can be used for submission of reports for different pipeline projects. Form submissions will be monitored by the Pipeline CSI, Mountain Valley Watch, Trout Unlimited, and the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. Each organization will address specific pipelines and will follow its own protocol for responding to incident reports, including follow-up investigation and submission of complaints to the regulatory agencies.
 
Access to the Pipeline Incident Report form is available at pipelineupdate.org/csi-reporting/. Other reporting methods provided by ABRA, including a hotline and a dedicated email address, as well as guidance for citizen observers, are also provided. Additional information and methods for reporting are provided by the other collaborating organizations.
 
 
Multiple agencies have been involved in the review and issuance of permits and approvals for the ACP.  See pipelineupdate.org/environmental-review for access to regulatory agency websites and to environmental regulations and guidelines that apply to pipeline construction in general.  Access is also provided to ACP-specific project plans and to environmental-review and approval documents. In addition, project-specific requests for variances and exemptions, as well as inspection and enforcement documents, will be provided. 
 
 
The CSI Mapping System is an online interactive map developed to support citizen oversight of the construction phase of the ACP. The geographic extent of the mapping system includes 200 miles of the western mountainous section of the ACP. The mapping system provides the location of the ACP construction corridor and access roads, information concerning environmental risks and sensitivities, construction plans (“alignment sheets”), and water monitoring stations. The mapping system includes a layer that indicates the extent of tree felling, and thus, the extent of potential construction in the summer of 2018. The mapping system will also provide information related to CSI Incident Reports.
 
Mapping system users can can select from different base maps, determine the layers that are displayed, access information about map features, and save PDF versions of their maps. 
 
The CSI Mapping System is currently set to display locations of stream and wetlands crossing considered by the US Army Corps of Engineers prior to its issuance of the general Nationwide Permit 12. As indicated in the attached screen shot, information concerning the individual crossings, including identifiers (FeatID), can be accessed via popup windows. Although the Virginia DEQ is accepting comments on the adequacy of the NWP12 for protecting state waters in lieu of individual state review, the DEQ website that provides water body crossing information is not working. The CSI Mapping System provides access to the missing information. For more on this issue, see Calendar / Events at pipelineupdate.org/csi.
 
 
CSI Mapping System showing native brook trout streams in the Townsend Draft area of the George Washington National Forest in western Virginia. Stream crossings included in the Water Body Impact Table prepared by the US Army Corps of Engineers in its review for the Nationwide Permit 12 are indicated. The popup window includes the crossing information provided in the table. The Virginia DEQ is presently accepting comments on the adequacy of the NWP12 for protecting state water resources. An initial review indicates that the Army Corps failed to evaluate at least 81 stream crossings in the westernmost 100 miles of the ACP in Virginia.

Virginia Ornithology Group Urges FERC to Hold Firm on Tree Felling Deadline

From ABRA Update #180:

Strong support for the recent denial by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend tree felling for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was voiced this week by the Virginia Society of Ornithology (VSO). In a May 8 letter to FERC, VSO said:

Providing a buffer of trees around any nest site that was identified has been proposed as a mitigation approach. We believe this proposal is impractical, even if the nests were identified. By eliminating neighboring trees and, by coincidence, disturbing adjacent vegetation, and the food resources they harbor, would necessitate nesting birds to forage greater distances to feed their young or simply not have enough food to sustain them. That could make nest failure just as possible as if the nest itself had been destroyed. It is highly unlikely that the ACP project could provide a reasonable buffer for each nest, even assuming it could identify the species involved.

In conclusion, the letter stated:

We cannot justify any scenario of extended tree felling that would provide equal or greater security tor migratory birds or other protected species which are dependent on these forested habitats, in comparison with the original March 15 deadline. Extending tree felling into the heart of the breeding season for many of our most imperiled breeding species runs counter to Dominion Energy’s stated commitment to minimizing environmental impacts. Please continue to support the original intent of the mitigation plan.

Terry’s Trees Come Down


Less than 24 hours after Red and Minor Terry came down from their trees, Mountain Valley Pipeline violated EPA regulations and cut the Terry’s trees along a tier 3 stream. There were many law enforcement personnel surrounding the guardians of the trees – where are they now that MVP is racing to cut? Who will enforce the penalties on MVP?  [Video by Genesis Chapman]

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.

A Visit to the Terrys

Friends of Nelson stands with Red (and other tree sitters). Photo by Kathy Versluys.

Richard and Jill Averitt visited Red and Minor Terry on Sunday April 29, 2018. Here is their report.

Richard and I went to visit Red and Minor on Sunday. They have been sitting in the trees for about a month now. We brought with us a young reporter with NPR’s show With Good Reason. She spent about 45 minutes interviewing Red. They would not allow her to send up a mic so she had to shout. Red’s voice projects very well though so it was still possible to conduct a quality interview. It was cold and windy yesterday and I was worried about her last night even though I know she has been up there in much colder weather. I don’t know how she is doing this. They are giving her the same food three times a day and she says the white bread is always stale. She gave a good interview and is a spitfire of a woman. I’m so grateful and proud of her.

There are three warrants for her arrest taped to the base of the tree. She has about five officers waiting at the bottom of the tree to arrest her. All the cop cars left before we arrived. They don’t like to be seen when they know press is coming. The campers told us they always leave. Today Rolling Stone is rumored to have sent a reporter.. On Saturday, a film crew from LA showed up. In the short time we were there, a bunch of local children poured through to say hello and to have a May pole dance just outside the police tape.. It was nice to hear the children’s laughter.

I wanted so badly to throw her a hamburger or something but folks at camp told me that, if I did that, they would arrest me for aiding and abetting! You would think she is a murderer that’s armed and dangerous.

Minor’s camp was much quieter. The day we were there she requested sunscreen and they would not give it to her. Soon she will not need it as all the leaves will fill out the trees and block the sun and her. I worry that when the leaves bud out no one will be able to see her anymore. Her brother is staying near Minor in a tent and her friend was there to play books on tape for her. She finished reading all the ones she had.

Back at our car, Minor’s boyfriend and another man reported the MVP folks were trespassing. They were not using the access areas that they are supposed to use to get to the pipeline easement.. Those areas are all wetlands (which I was told were never identified in the EIS) with at least knee deep water in some places. Minor’s boyfriend put up a blockade of brambles and took out their illegal log bridge so that the MVP folks would have to go back the way they were supposed to go, through the wetlands. Police standing nearby didn’t seem to care that MVP folks were breaking the law on the Terry’s land.

If you get a chance to see them it’s totally worth the drive. When the reporter asked Red who she is doing this for she answered “Everyone. Everyone.” Please keep them in your thoughts. Tomorrow is their case in court. The lawyers came while we were there and the police let them send up some papers for her to look over.

She is amazing. She is strong. She is representing all of us right now.

To their report on visiting the Terrys, they add this note:

Please don’t forget about the monopod sitter who has broken a monopod-sit record at 33 days. But she is STILL not getting food and water. Her sit is the smallest, the size of a small cot, and she could not have been able to store much food. And the arduous trek through the woods, 125′ from the road means she is getting few visitors.

Other tree sitters continue at Little Teel Crossing and on Peter’s Mountain.

On May 1, 2018, in US District Court in Roanoke, Mountain Valley Pipeline lawyers argued their case against the Terrys.  The Roanoke Times reported that evening, “Two pipeline protesters stuck to their positions in trees atop Bent Mountain on Tuesday while, in the valley below them, lawyers went to a federal courthouse to argue their fate. Attorneys for the Mountain Valley Pipeline said that 61-year-old Theresa “Red” Terry and her daughter, Theresa Minor Terry, are blocking tree cutting for the natural gas pipeline and should be found in contempt of court. They cited an order from U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Dillon that gave Mountain Valley the power, through the laws of eminent domain, to run its pipeline through private land owned by the Terry family. Roanoke attorney Tom Bondurant, who represents the Terrys, flipped that argument around — asserting it was Mountain Valley that should be held in contempt for misrepresenting to the court key facts during an earlier hearing in the condemnation proceedings. After hearing several hours of testimony and arguments, Dillon said she will issue a written opinion ‘as quickly as I can.’”