Three Groups Opposed to a Natural Gas Pipeline Form a Front to Stop Plans

Posted: Updated: Jul 27, 2014 10:36 PM

Three groups in Nelson County that formed separately in opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline are now forming a united front to stop the plans. Members met at the Nelson Center to share what their progress over the past month.

The Free Nelson, Friends of Nelson, and the Pipeline Education Group are all taking a different approach toward the same goal of helping educate people about Dominion's proposed southern reliability project. But they're all encouraging the public to take initiative and contact their supervisors.

The meeting Sunday night brought out hundreds of people to hear from the three groups about what they're doing in opposition to Dominion's plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Nelson County.

Friends of Nelson representative Kathy Versluys says the first thing is to make their work legal. "We've been working a little bit with or have gotten advice from the Southern Environmental Law Center and they suggested that that was a very good move to make because they can't represent individuals. They can represent organizations that are nonprofit.” 

They've already met with Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds to find out where he stands. Deeds voted against a law that allows the company to perform surveys.

"When we told him our concerns, he said 'I took it on the chin for that vote. I was only one of four and 56 people voted for it,' and he said 'I was one of four who voted against it,'” said Versluys.

Meanwhile, the pipeline education group has been creating yard signs and t-shirts. The Free Nelson Group is bent on taking physical action that would disrupt surveyors.

Free Nelson Founder, Marion Kanour said, "What we've decided to do is to create a filming group, a video and digital group that will come out at the request of the property owners to film surveyors in action."

All three groups are encouraging people to contact county supervisors before they meet with Dominion representatives on August 12.

County Supervisor Connie Brennan said, "We have been working to put together some questions, working with Friends of Nelson to get their questions, and citizens have been calling to give us their questions."

All three groups say they'll continue to get the word out to neighbors as that date gets closer.

Friends of Nelson will be holding a writing workshop on August 5 at the Lovingston library to help county residents write to elected officials.

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