Augusta Residents Ask Dominion Reps about Pipeline

Posted: Updated: Aug 27, 2014 10:23 PM

The debate continues over a proposed natural gas pipeline running through Virginia. Wednesday night, it was Augusta County's turn to chime in.

Four-hundred people packed the Verona Government Center to get their questions answered by Dominion representatives about the Southeast Reliability Project, which proposes putting a gas pipeline that starts in southern West Virginia and crosses Virginia, including Augusta County, and North Carolina. Dominion representatives say the next step is surveying the land, but they still need to notify land owners since the route changed.

Dominion says all the natural gas will meet energy needs in Virginia and will not be exported, but some Augusta residents don't feel reassured.

"They can say that, but is that going to actually be the way it is in the end? Companies have been able to say a lot of things up front and then.. oh well, in the fine print there's something else and that's my concern,” said Janelle Hurst de Mazariegos, who lives in Augusta County.

Dominion scrapped the original route and is now proposing a new path that crosses 42 miles of Augusta. Land owners have not yet been notified of the route change but Dominion representatives say the company will send letters to them and hope to begin surveying by the end of August.

Some residents raised concerns about safety and asked how the pipeline would directly benefit them. Dominion representative Emmett Toms said residents would benefit via their rates and told the crowd Wednesday night that the company patrols and frequently inspects wells after they go into service.

Dominion representatives say eminent domain doesn't come into play until they have a certificate to move forward and it could take two years to get approval and another two to put the pipeline in the ground.

They're holding an open house September 15 at the Verona Government Center.

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