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Augusta and Nelson Co. Residents Want Answers about Proposed Pipeline

Posted: Updated: Sep 14, 2014 09:39 PM

We're learning more about what people across the region are planning to do in their fight against a proposed natural gas pipeline.

The plans from Dominion and Duke Energy call for a line that would be 42 inches in diameter. It would span more than 500 miles from West Virginia, through Virginia and in North Carolina. Here in our viewing area it would cut through parts of Augusta County, Staunton and Nelson County.

Residents in both Augusta and Nelson counties are getting ready for a series of open houses where Dominion representatives will meet with the public and field their questions. Those start next week with the first one at the Fishersville Expo in Augusta. But Nelson County supervisors and citizen groups say they are making big strides in pressing their opposition.

"Certainly we would like to see a clearer route; we want to see how it relates to the George Washington National Forest. We also want to find out where the facts and figures came that our Governor gave in his press conference last week."

County residents and members of the group Friends of Nelson say they have a host of questions they want answered from Dominion, and the group is gaining support.

Ernie Reed from Friends of Nelson said, "Friends of Nelson has incorporated. We are able to take donations now. We're using that to defray all the obvious expenses and to build a body of money so we can have specialists and attorneys."

Friends of Nelson is also part of a larger group known as the Allegheny Blue Ridge Alliance, which stretches across 4 counties. Also in that group is the Augusta County Alliance. They planned a rally at their upcoming open house with the company, but ran into a problem.

Nancy Sorrells from Augusta County Alliance said, "The county administrator said that he didn't feel like he could provide the proper security so that they asked Dominion, told Dominion, that they would not hold it at the government center and so Dominion then apparently reserved Expo. So that's fine, we still plan to go out."

Nelson County supervisors say they've also been busy this past week. They issued a formal resolution against the project.

Nelson County Supervisor Connie Brennan said, "We firmly oppose the construction of this pipeline through our beautiful county and I think we're really responding to our own personal beliefs as well as the overwhelming votes that we got from our constituents."

Friends of Nelson vice chair Ernie Reed says he thinks he speaks for most county residents in saying, "This is the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Tuesday Dominion representatives will be at the Nelson Center and the Highland Center in Nelson County from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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