Economic Study


The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would cost Nelson County up to $24.5 million dollars per year, with additional one-time costs of up to $41 million according to an independent economic report issued Tuesday by Key-Log Economics. Individuals and businesses would lose up to $25 million in property value outright, while annual losses would include $18 million in recreation tourism dollars and $1.2 million in personal income.  The county government would lose $526,000 in tax revenue and $144,000 in property tax revenue per year should the pipeline be built in Nelson County. The total annual costs to Nelson County far exceed the local annual tax payment promised by ACP LLC. These costs would be borne by the entire community, assuming taxes were raised to cover lost county revenue.

The reports are available here:
ACP Costs to Nelson County – Summary
Economic Costs of the ACP – Technical Report (May 16 update)

Nelson County Economic Impacts from Atlantic Coast Pipeline:
• Total one time loss to county: $19-$41.2m
• Additional Annual costs to county: $21.1-$24.5m /year
• Total loss in property values $14.7-$25.3m
• Annual loss in property tax revenue $83,666-$144,363 /year
• Annual loss in recreation tourism expenditures $18.5m /year
• Annual loss in local Tax revenue $526,000 /year
• Annual loss in personal income $1.2 m /year

A Review and Analysis by Key Log Economics of individual and form letters submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) shows a vast number of significant concerns about Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from citizens in impacted areas—and overwhelming opposition to the pipeline. This Review and Analysis is a supplement to the Economic Analysis Report, also completed by Key-Log Economics. Among the Review’s findings are:

  • 99.4% of the comments about impacts to forests were negative
  • 98.8% of the comments regarding impacts to property values, tourism and recreation were negative
  • 96.1% of the comments mentioning safety were negative
  • 99% of the comments on impacts to water were negative
  • 98.9% of the comments regarding effects on cultural and historical sites were negative
  • 99% of the comments mentioning health cited negative impacts

All 2858 individual and form letter comments submitted to FERC between October 20, 2014 and June 26, 2015 were reviewed and analyzed, including all comments received during FERC’s official “comment period.” The percentages listed above reflect the number of individual and form letter comments that cited each respective issue. Thus, comments simply voicing opposition or support to the project, which do not have specific details, were not included in this Review and Analysis as FERC considers them irrelevant to the NEPA process. The percentages above also did not include the 25,667 signatures on the 12 different petitions submitted to FERC during this period. The report tracked locales from which the comments were submitted. 59.7% of the individual and form letter comments submitted were from citizens in counties that the ACP would cross, while 90% of signatures on petitions received by FERC were from states outside the ACP route. The report shows that over 36% of the individual and form letter comments submitted (1037 out of 2858) were from Nelson County citizens, exemplifying Nelson County’s strong opposition to the ACP. “This Review and Analysis shows that those who would be most directly affected, and are thus likely to be the most informed, hold almost uniformly negative opinions regarding the ACP,” said Joanna Salidis, President of Friends of Nelson. Comments from those who took the time to write individual letters or submit form letters, whether from citizens directly affected or not, were strongly negative. The analysis also found that the vast majority of those who did hold positive views on the ACP’s effects on the general categories of the “economy” or “energy situation” were from counties or states that were not crossed by the ACP. The comments analyzed were submitted to FERC as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which evaluates the potential environmental effects of any federal project. This public input is a critical part of the overall analysis of the pipeline. “Letters and comments submitted to FERC provide direct and clear information about the issues of concern to the people and communities [affected]…” the review states. “The information in this Review is critical, as it indicates that the people more likely to support the project are those with limited exposure to the issues, due to their greater distance from the route. These people are more likely to rely on paid advertisements by the Gas Industry as their sole source of information,” said Ernie Reed of Friends of Nelson. “The people within closer range recognize the substantial dangers of the ACP, and are in the majority. ”This Review and Analysis of individual comments to FERC by Key-Log Economics was commissioned by Friends of Nelson, Augusta County Alliance, Conservation Partners, LLP, Southern Environmental Law Center, Yogaville Environmental Solutions, Friends of Buckingham, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

-For the complete review of citizen comments, click here.