Dominion Refuses Route Change Recommended by Own Contractor

As this April 6, 2018, comment to FERC makes clear, Dominion not only ignores expert citizen input, but also ignores the recommendations of the experts they themselves hired.

Little Valley, Bath County, VA, near ACP mile marker 93 of the ACP, is underlaid by limestone and is characterized by numerous karst features including springs and sinkholes. Most Little Valley residents depend entirely on spring water for all household and agricultural needs. Little Valley Run is a high quality spring-fed stream that holds native brook trout year round. The Valley Center area of Highland County is very similar to Little Valley and faces many of the same threats from the ACP.

Dominion has constantly assured citizens that their concerns about problems associated with placing a pipeline of this size through limestone aquifers were being addressed. Dominion hired GeoConcepts, an engineering firm with expert knowledge of karst topography, to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the proposed route.

The comment to FERC states that it has now become evident that Dominion has been routinely ignoring the advice of GeoConcepts, which proposed a route that would avoid karst areas in both Bath and Highland Counties – a route that was rejected by Dominion. Further, this route, which would have avoided karst areas in Valley Center, Little Valley, and Burnsville, would seem to be almost identical to one proposed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation in a letter to FERC in August 2017.

“It seems clear that Dominion has no intention of voluntarily facing the problems that they have created for themselves by ignoring the reality of the terrain they have chosen for the ACP. Both GeoConcepts and the Virginia DCR have recommended a route that would avoid the degradation of sensitive karst areas in both Bath and Highland Counties. We are relying on the members of the State Water Control Board to hold Dominion to their promises to protect the most precious resource we have — our water.”

Read the full comment here.