Author Archives: Mary Eiserman

Plastic bag taxes have the potential to generate real behavior change among Virginians

From the Roanoke Times

the city of Roanoke became the first Virginia locality to institute a 5-cent tax on single-use plastic bags at grocery, convenience and drug stores. The Roanoke ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 1st. A share of the revenue will help merchants implement the tax.

This is made possible by the General Assembly passing legislation just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving cities and counties the option to levy the disposable bag fee. The Code of Virginia states revenue must go toward environmental cleanup efforts, waste reduction education programs, pollution and litter mitigation initiatives, or the provision of reusable bags to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) recipients.

300 million tons of plastic are generated each year across the globe and half of that volume is for single-use purposes. That’s roughly the weight of the global human population and items like bags often land in our rivers, oceans, streams and other waterways.

As of February, eight states had banned single-use grocery bags altogether, with limited allowances such as those distributed in produce, meat, deli and bulk food departments. Roanoke’s ordinance carries that same exception. 

Keystone XL Pipeline is Cancelled!

The company behind the Keystone XL pipeline announced on Wednesday June 9th that it’s officially scrapping the project after President Biden nixed a border-crossing permit for it.

From The Hill

TC Energy said that after “a comprehensive review of its options, and in consultation with its partner, the Government of Alberta, it has terminated the Keystone XL Pipeline Project.”

Biden argued that the proposed oil pipeline “disserves” the U.S. national interest and that “leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”

 

Save the Date! – Celebrate the End of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

SAVE THE DATE: JULY 10, 2021


ON JULY 5, 2020, THE ACP WAS CANCELED. WE WANTED A
REAL CELEBRATION, BUT THE PANDEMIC MADE THAT IMPOSSIBLE.


NOW MANY OF US ARE VACCINATED AND THE RESTRICTIONS
ON LARGE GATHERINGS HAVE BEEN LOOSENED.

SO…. IT’S TIME TO PARTY!!!

VENUE: ROCKFISH VALLEY COMMUNITY CENTER—OUTSIDE,
WITH TENTS, TABLES AND SEATING

TIME: 5-9 PM
FURTHER DETAILS TO FOLLOW.


JOIN THE FUN AND FELLOWSHIP—WE’VE EARNED IT!

 

Nelson County Administration and Board of Supervisors Submit Comments on FERC Docket# CP15-554-009

On April 14, 2021, the Board of Supervisors of Nelson County unanimously directed that a comment letter be filed with FERC to address the many “zombie” easements that afflict landowners in the County following the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  In the comment letter, the Board stated that “we submit that it is the responsibility of FERC to require Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC to release the thousands of easements that were obtained by Atlantic from private landowners on the proposed path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline,” including 250+ easements in Nelson County.  The Board added that “these easements impose a significant burden upon these landowners which has been proven to be unwarranted.  They significantly diminish and limit the owner’s use of their properties and, therefore reduce its value.”  Moreover, “it is inevitable that the county tax assessments on these properties will be reduced due the limitations that the easements put upon the landowner’s
properties, costing a loss of county tax revenue on these properties.

Signed Letter to FERC – April 14 2021

News You May Have Missed

 

Recent post-ACP-cancellation news articles of interest. More detailed information on our In the News page.

 

Oil and Gas companies are making old pipelines the landowner’s problem.

From Popular Science. In the US private residents end up footing the bill to prevent further eyesores and pollution. March 10, 202. 

There are some 3 million miles of natural gas pipelines buried in the US. More than half of all gas transmission lines in the country were installed before 1970, according to data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration. Those pipelines have an average lifespan of 50 years. And it’s not just old pipelines that are set to go out of service. Younger pipelines are also at risk of falling into disuse as the power sector comes to rely less on natural gas in favor of wind, solar and batteries.


No clearer sign exists that that bridge has been crossed than the cancellation of several high profile natural gas pipeline projects in the last year, including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Constitution Pipeline. What does that mean for the millions of miles of gas pipelines that are already in the ground?


The most comprehensive data on abandoned pipelines comes from Canada. In the 1980s, the Canadian government began an extensive study of abandoned pipelines, which identified a slew of serious risks to leaving them in place. Sinkholes could form as pipelines corroded and collapsed. Leftover fossil fuels, or the cleaning agents used to clear out lines, could leak out into the surrounding soil or water. Aging lines under lakes or rivers could carry water where it’s not wanted. Empty pipelines could also become slightly buoyant, relative to soil, and rise to the surface, where landscaping and signage marking a pipeline’s path is rarely maintained after it has been retired.


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) can order a pipeline company to remove a line that’s not in use, says Carolyn Elefant, an energy and eminent domain attorney, but it doesn’t always do so.


Pipeline companies have ample incentive to leave pipelines in the ground. Removal is expensive and requires heavy equipment, permits and environmental reviews. And pipelines laid before 1980 often have the added feature of an asbestos coating that must be dealt with. It can cost almost as much to get a pipeline out of the ground as it costs to put it in the ground.