VaNews for Nelson County
A study commissioned by two environmental organizations says neither the Atlantic Coast Pipeline nor the Mountain Valley Pipeline needs to be built because existing pipelines can supply the power for Virginia and the Carolinas through 2030.
The proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline path starts in West Virginia and runs through Virginia into eastern North Carolina. The pipeline’s path includes parts of Nelson and Buckingham counties. The 301-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline is a projected natural gas pipeline running 301 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia.
Citizens from across Virginia came together to rally against the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline at events in Deerfield and Afton on Thursday. About 30 people voiced their dissent for Dominion Energy’s pipeline plan as part of a national day of action organized by Friends of Augusta County and Augusta County Alliance on a local level, and Hands Across Our Land on a regional level at the morning event in Deerfield. The afternoon rally saw about 75 people, including Kai Degner, who is running against Bob Goodlatte for Virginia's 6th Congressional District seat, convene in Afton near the Augusta and Nelson County line
The Commonwealth Transportation Board last week announced the approval of $1.3 million in funding for the Blue Ridge Tunnel restoration project through the Transportation Alternatives Program.
The funding allows for the completion of the project, which includes rehabilitation of the train tunnel, parking and a walking-and-biking trail to its western portal near Waynesboro.
The circuitous path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline now loops through nine properties protected by Virginia conservation easements on its way to a critical proposed crossing of the Blue Ridge Mountains above the Wintergreen resort in Nelson County, where the natural gas transmission line would traverse at least one other state conservation easement.
Activism opposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has often taken place on social media or in courtrooms, but the battle took a different form Monday. Off Va. 56 in Wingina, about 75 people from Nelson County and the surrounding area planted sacred Ponca Tribe corn — or “seeds of resistance” — in the proposed path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a move Friends of Nelson President Joanna Salidis called a “tangible way to express our connection with the land and the people in Dominion’s crosshairs.”
They were joined by Mekasi Horinek Camp, a member of Ponca Nation, and two others associated with Bold Alliance, a multi-state coalition with the goal of promoting environmental responsibility and clean energy.
A judge has ruled in a case involving 37 landowners in Nelson County who refused to allow Dominion to survey their property for the construction of a natural gas pipeline.
Nelson County Circuit Court Judge Michael T. Garrett said more specific information on dates is required before properties can be surveyed for a proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).
A Nelson County judge has upheld a state law allowing natural gas pipelines to survey properties without landowner permission, but also has ruled that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline gave insufficient notice to more than three dozen landowners about when surveying crews would be present on their land.
Circuit Judge Michael T. Garrett issued a 20-page ruling Monday that dismissed constitutional challenges of the 2004 state law, but granted a motion by 37 landowners to require the pipeline company to provide specific information about when its crews would enter their properties without permission.
Garrett said the company’s notice that it would enter properties “on or after” a specific date “is not legally sufficient”
As part of what they called a “surprise attack” on utility companies Tuesday, pipeline opposition groups and leaders of the Nelson County community held a press conference at the Natural History Center in Nellysford to voice disapproval of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
A former Nelson County sheriff’s investigator will not serve jail time after entering an Alford plea Friday to a misdemeanor count of willful neglect of election law duties.
As part of the plea agreement, one count of election fraud, a Class 5 felony, against William “Billy” Everett Mays Jr. was dismissed in Nelson County Circuit Court.
Nelson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Garrett told a room full of lawyers, landowners and Dominion Resources employees he will hold off on a decision regarding whether or not a statute involved in the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline is constitutional.
Garrett said he would make a decision in a letter or written opinion.
“This case is important to its litigants and to this community,” he said.