Category Archives: Tree cutting

Standing Like a Tree


“Standing Like a Tree”: @Lobo Marino makes a call to action. The emotionally powerful new video shows what the ACP could destroy.

Consider visiting Miracle Ridge and Oona before September 8 to witness what is at stake. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/393037261100435/

“Standing Like a Tree” was filmed at Miracle Ridge, a Virginia mountain old growth forest slated for execution by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Co-produced, arranged and performed by indie folk band Lobo Marino. From their Richmond, Virginia home base, Lobo Marino’s Laney Sullivan and Jameson Price have toured nationally for six years and produced seven records. Mystically political and whole heartily grassroots, this DIY band plays on large festival stages and the backyard fire pits of intentional communities across the country. Their music, built primarily around harmonium, Price’s elegantly simple full body percussion and Sullivan’s deep root vocals, carries the message of humanity’s need to find balance with nature.

“Standing Like a Tree” is based on an original 1987 song and lyrics by activist Betsy Rose who gave permission to use the piece to once again raise awareness of what must be protected. The film features Ona, a 300 year old silver maple at the center of the steep slope Miracle Ridge which the pipeline would destroy, land stewards Bill and Lynn Limpert, and snapshots of the legal and direct action resistance to the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast fracked gas pipelines.

Video was shot and edited by Chris Damon and Kate Rivara of Richmond film collective “Good Day RVA”. Additional footage by @Aspen Miller with sound captured by Patrick Ball.

FERC Approves Stabilization Plan for ACP Work Stoppage

From the ABRA Update, August 23, 2018:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on August 17, 2018, granted permission for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (ACP, LLC) to implement plans to conduct interim work on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) during the period of the stop work order on the project. FERC had requested the plan as part of its August 10 stop work order for the project, which had been prompted by an August 6 federal court decision vacating two key permits for the ACP and a subsequent request made to the agency by several ABRA members for a stop work order to be issued.

FERC’s August 17 letter to ACP, LLC authorizes the company “to implement the plans with the following condition: for locations where trees have been felled, but mainline construction activity has not yet started (table 3.1-1 of each plan), Atlantic and DETI must continue monitoring the right-of-way as dictated by weather conditions, but no less than once every month.”

Continuing, the letter states, “We note that clearing of felled vegetation has not yet occurred on federal lands. Thus, the stabilization measures (except for monitoring) would generally not apply to these locations. However, Atlantic must continue to work and seek concurrence from the appropriate agencies for any additional measures that Atlantic may propose on federal lands.”

The ACP, LLC plan, submitted August 14, is available here.

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.