Excerpt from comments by Lew Freeman, Executive Director, Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, in ABRA Update #238, July 9, 2020:
ABRA and its members are most appreciative to those in the media who for six years have
diligently covered this story and reported on our points of view about the ACP. In particular, we extend a shoutout to The Recorder newspaper that serves Highland and Bath Counties, Virginia. The Recorder’s reporting and commentary on the evolution of the ACP since the project was first announced in its embryonic stage in May 2014 has been nothing short of extraordinary.
The masthead of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance states that the organization’s mission is: “Protecting the heritage, resources and economy of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge region.” We organized ABRA to fight the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and that effort has dominated our activities for the duration of our existence. However, we have never lost sight of the broader mission of promoting the integrity of this very special geographical region of the United States. Accordingly, the ABRA Steering Committee, on July 9 agreed to three new initiatives:
- ABRA and its members will closely monitor actions required to be taken to wind down the ACP project, with particular attention to the restoration of the lands that have been disturbed by construction activity. We will be reporting on that progress in future issues of ABRA Update and, when necessary, taking action to assure that the required restoration is done properly.
- ABRA has offered its assistance to those still fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the POWHR (Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights) coalition and many others. We continue to believe that natural gas pipelines are incompatible with the integrity of the mountain regions of West Virginia and Virginia.
- ABRA will be announcing in coming weeks a new program designed to significantly enhance the capabilities of environmental, conservation and citizen groups to analyze impacts of projects in the greater Allegheny-Blue Ridge region to assure that the overall environmental integrity of the region is maintained. The program, named the Conservation Hub, will employ some of the same technological tools that formed the basis of the ABRA Compliance Surveillance Network (CSI) that was developed to monitor ACP construction activities. We are very excited about this new initiative and believe it will be a decided asset for the greater conservation community.