From Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s ABRA Update #290, August 27, 2020
The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for an extension of time of “an additional two years, or until October 13, 2022, to complete construction of the Project and place the Project facilities into service.” FERC issued on August 27 an official notice of a comment period for the public to have input on the MVP request, the deadline for which is Friday, September 11, 2020.
You are strongly urged to file comments with FERC by 5 pm, Friday, September 11 in opposition to the extension of the certificate for the MVP. Regarding filing comments, the FERC Notice states: The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “e-File” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically may mail similar pleadings to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426. Hand delivered submissions in docketed proceedings should be delivered to Health and Human Services, 12225 Wilkins Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
From Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s ABRA Update #289, August 20, 2020
The Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) is pleased to announce an exciting new program: The Conservation Hub. ABRA’s Conservation Hub program promotes responsible resource management by providing data-focused tools that enhance a project’s transparency, strengthen its accountability to regulatory agencies and facilitate public participation in its evaluation process. The Hub is a regional information and mapping portal, tailored to specific projects in the central Appalachian region of Virginia and West Virginia encompassing 52 counties (26 in VA and 26 in WV, see map below), but also an information resource on the natural resources and character of the region.
Projects beyond the region will be considered on a case by case basis.
The Conservation Hub is an outgrowth of the mapping system developed for ABRA’s Construction Surveillance Initiative (CSI), a program that was created to monitor construction activity of the now-cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Note: The CSI program will continue until restoration of the ACP route has been completed.)
Watch this short presentation about all of those whole participated in putting together the Unity Banner as it makes its way to Bent Mountain.
The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, its chapters and allies presented a Unity Banner to water protectors and pipeline fighters. The Unity Banner was created to symbolize solidarity between those who successfully fought and stopped the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and those who are still fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Sharon Ponton, BREDL’s Stop the Pipeline Campaign Coordinator shepherded the project and created the banner.
The Unity Banner was hosted in 16 communities; ten in Virginia and six in North Carolina. Hundreds of individuals signed the Unity Banner, representing the diverse members of the coalition created six years ago who have now become a part of the resistance movement against natural gas and other fossil fuel expansion.
Two articles of interest to landowners with ACP easement agreements.
We remind our readers that the easements are not gone now that the ACP has been cancelled, and that under the law, landowners still do not have full use of their land. For example, unless ACP formally releases them from the easements, they are not allowed to build on it. And if they want to sell it, those restrictions carry with the land.
An August 15, 2020 article in the News and Advance, A look at the Atlantic Coast Pipeline easement process that left Nelson landowners $15 million richer, reports extensively on easement payments in Nelson County, including a chart by categories showing total amounts of compensation for easements signed by Nelson landowners. Note that the headline is deceptive, as more than half of the $15 million went to a very few landowners, and most received far less. Nor did this article take into account the 30% cut that lawyers got, or the thousands of dollars in other fees (like appraisers) that some landowners had to pay to be able to fight to get for the settlements they actually got, or the income taxes most of the landowners had to pay on this “windfall”.
An August 15, 2020 article by Irene Leech, Landowners be advised, in the Friends of Buckingham newsletter suggesting landowners “may want to take any available opportunity to express the desire to have damage repaired and to regain easement ownership to political leaders and company representatives.” The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would have bisected Leech’s Buckingham County family farm for 1.1 mile and her home in Montgomery County, VA is within the evacuation zone of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.