Dominion Maps


On February 16, 2018, NBC29 reported that “Dominion Energy introduced an interactive map for people to stay updated on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s construction. The map shows the current route and timeline of construction project within specific regions.”

On Dominion’s map site there is a tab for each state, and then a link for each county. However, while the Dominion maps supposedly show the pipeline route and construction activity, at this point in time they do not show any detail at all: no access roads, no stream crossings, no flood plains, no supply or construction yards. In fact, as you click to enlarge, there comes a point – on the 6th click, just when you would be getting to a reasonable level of detail – where the line showing the pipeline route simply disappears from their map! So at a detailed level there is nothing to look at.

We suggest you go to our Maps page and look at the maps provided by Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition and by Friends of Nelson for detailed maps showing the things the Dominion maps currently don’t show you.

On the Dominion maps, on the sidebar of each county page there are sections for News Alerts, Construction Activity, Community Investment, and Community Resources.

Under Community Investment they say, “We believe in corporate citizenship and doing our best to enhance the communities where we live, work and play. Check back to these pages as we’ll show you during construction how we’re making that happen.” So far, we have seen no sign of good corporate citizenship or enhancing communities. Somehow, creating permanent scars on the landscape, fouling streams, clearing slide-prone slopes of vegetation, and bringing heavy truck and equipment traffic to small county roads does not seem like community enhancement.

Under Community Resource they say, “The ACP will bring substantial economic benefits to the communities across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. We encourage you to visit these pages often to see how our contractor, SRC, is relying on your local businesses to provide supplies and services throughout the course of construction of the ACP.” We note that Dominion is no longer talking (as they were several years ago) about how the pipeline bring jobs to our communities, perhaps because the blatant untruth of that has been so well publicized. Now they are falling back on touting reliance on our “local businesses to provide supplies and services” during construction. We’ll see….

Virginia Is a Solar Straggler


Former Governor McAuliffe touted Virginia’s leadership in solar, speaking of “the great work we’re doing to build the new Virginia economy, one that is less reliant on federal spending and focuses on growth in innovative sectors like the solar industry,” and he and Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade, boasted in March 2017 that “Virginia now ranks in the top twenty in the nation for solar jobs.”

But…

Due in no small part to Dominion’s coolness to solar and emphasis on fossil fuels, Virginia dropped in 2017 to 20th in use of solar – from 17th in 2016. Yes, McAuliffe and Haymore were boasting about a drop in ranking! A February 15, 2018, Blue Virginia article discusses the drop, citing a January 2018 report called Solar in Virginia, produced by Powered by Facts.

“Virginia now has 290.89 megawatts (MW) of solar installed, which represents approximately .037% of its total electricity generated. This is an increase from last year’s total of 192.4 MW, and represents the state moving more than half of the way towards Dominion’s goal of building facilities to generate 400 MW of solar energy by 2020. Despite the increase in MW, Virginia’s national ranking for solar and renewable energy slipped from 17th in 2016 to 20th in 2017. This indicates that other states have embraced this highly competitive industry and are reaping its rewards, while Virginia has lagged behind.”

The report points out part of Virginia’s difficulty: “Our largest utility – Dominion Energy – also falls short. In a recent annual benchmark review of clean energy published by the non-profit Ceres, Dominion consistently ranked last among 30 utility companies in the areas of Annual Energy Efficiency and Lifecycle Energy Efficiency. The latest numbers also show that Dominion Energy was ranked 24th out of 30 in renewable energy sales as a percentage of retail sales, 30 out of 30 in incremental energy efficiency and 29th out of 30 in life cycle energy efficiency, which are the estimated savings of all energy efficiency.”

The Blue Virginia article also discusses Virginia’s 2018 ranking by Solar Power Rocks, “a firm that focuses on helping homeowners and small businesses go solar, analyzes those 51 [states] as to solar attractiveness for those potential customers. “Virginia’s grade? A big fat D. “‘Solar in Virginia: about as bad as you might think!’ The state’s big utility company, Dominion Power, offers an anemic performance payments program, which will help homeowners now but isn’t guaranteed to be there in a few years. All in all, the “D” grade is earned.”

News You May Have Missed

There’s been a lot going on – here are some news items from our In the News page you may have missed:

Dominion Didn’t Do Homework


In a Letter to the Editor of the Nelson County Times, published February 14, 2018, Marilyn Shifflett points out the many ways in which Dominion had failed to do their homework when they came to the Board of Zoning appeals on February 5 with applications for variances to cross more than four miles of Nelson floodplains. She says, “I commend the diligence of the BZA and the Department Planning & Zoning staff. I am most grateful for their attention to detail. However, I find myself left with more questions than answers regarding the ACP’s quoted responses” in the press coverage of the hearing.

  • “The pipeline route through Nelson is roughly 90 percent sloped terrain, which means the bulk of the remainder is through these sites. Nelson’s route has more floodplains than any community on the entire 600-mile route. After nearly four years, this was their “preferred route” in a community with a long history of frequent flooding?”
  • Variance requests were submitted after the Nelson County Board of Supervisors passed a new floodplain ordinance. Apparently the ACP didn’t realize their requests would be considered under that ordinance.
  • Variance requests on seven properties were dismissed because the ACP had not obtained easement agreements for those properties and, under Virginia law, the lack of easement agreements constitutes the “lack of standing” required for variance applications. Dominion surveyed the properties (uner court order in February 2017 and floodplains were clearly delineated in the sruveys. Yet Dominion apparently didn’t know they needed an “interest” in the properties to apply for variances.
  • “The ACP’s request for deferral on all 11 sites expresses an interest in further hydrologic and hydraulic analyses indicating that they now suddenly view these areas as “high consequence.” One of the most frequent causes of pipeline ruptures is earth movement on slopes and along stream crossings, particularly during periods of heavy rains. Given Dominion’s public statements regarding thorough environmental reviews and their commitment to the safety of impacted communities, I am left wondering why these sites were not given attention a year ago during survey, and why did the ACP’s October request for variances not include such analyses and engineering plans specific to these sites?”

Did Dominion think they could just walk in and get the variances, regardless of what the ordinance says, regardless of their standing on the properties, regardless of their lack of analysis and plans for the properties? Probably they did. Leaves us to wonder about the extent of other homework undone. Think about all those applications – to FERC, to DEQ, to the Forest Service – where Dominion has said, “Information on this will be provided later. But we want you to approve this now.”

ACP Receives Army Corps Permit

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has now received authorization from all relevant Army Corps of Engineers offices to proceed with the project in accordance with the Corps National Permit 12 program. The Corps’ Pittsburgh office issued its authorization with a February 7 letter, and the Corps Norfolk, VA and Wilmington, NC offices issued their authorization letters on February 9. The authorizations are part of Dominion’s February 12 filing with FERC.

Did the Army Corps of Engineers ever set foot in the places they are putting at risk before they made a key decision about our streams and water bodies? Not so far as we know.

The Lynchburg News Advance reported on February 14, 2018, that, “The Army Corps permits pave the way for more pre-construction activities along the route of the pipeline. With the permits now in hand, ACP officials on Monday submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a request for a “limited notice to proceed” in Virginia with non-mechanized tree felling and cutting of vegetation in non-uplands in certificated workspaces along the pipeline right of way, on access roads and in contractor yards. In West Virginia and North Carolina, ACP has asked FERC for approval to begin mechanized tree felling and clearing of trees and vegetation. ACP still must be granted the limited notice to proceed by FERC before it can begin such activity. Additionally, those pre-construction activities only can take place in areas where ACP has signed easement agreements with landowners.”

“We’ve Been Sold”

“We’ve Been Sold” This short film from Water Is Life. Protect It tells a story that has Virginians righteously angry.

Call Governor Northam EACH AND EVERY DAY until he rights this wrong. 804-786-2211

Call the Secretary of Natural Resources, Matthew Strickler, EACH AND EVERY DAY until he rights this wrong. 804-786-0044

Rural communities resisting the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley fracked gas pipelines learned years ago of the corruption and collusion fueling these projects. But even they never dreamed our former governor, his Department of Environmental Quality and the developers of the pipelines would sink this low.

Join the call to our new Governor to right this wrong.