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Natural Gas Pipeline Protestors Drum up Support in Waynesboro

Posted: Updated: Nov 01, 2014 10:37 PM
WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) -

Members of 22 groups from central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley have united against Dominion's plans to run a natural gas pipeline through their properties. The plans from Dominion Resources show the pipeline crossing a large part of both Augusta and Nelson counties.

Now landowners in the pipeline's path and supervisors from both counties are making their opposition known.

The rally comes on the heels of Dominion Resources taking the next step toward getting federal approval for the project. The company pre-filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, Friday. Now, opposition groups want the public to know they can start weighing in as early as next week.

Augusta County Alliance member Nancy Sorrells said, "This has united the community like no other issue I've ever seen, and so to come out on a terrible day like today because they believe in this so strongly is encouraging."

Demonstrators showed they're ready to fight Dominion Resource's plan to build a natural gas pipeline. The group Friends of Nelson says people may have an opportunity to have their voices heard in front of federal regulators as early as next week.

Friends of Nelson member Ernie Reed said, "Early next week, FERC will assign a docket number, and once that happens, it becomes an opportunity for the public to comment on the pipeline, on its impacts."

Augusta County Supervisor Tracy Pyles says the board will meet with members from FERC next Thursday.

"It's daunting, but it's not impossible. It's a matter of putting together the facts in a cogent form, in a way that reveals what's different about Augusta County. We are the source of the water. When it's polluted, it's gone forever,” said Pyles.

Going forward, activists plan to continue the fight they say they can't afford to lose.

"This is not just an issue for those people along the pipeline; this is an issue for all of Virginians and West Virginians and North Carolinians too. It's an issue about where we're going in the future."

There will also be another opportunity for public comment in about two weeks. Dominion has requested a special use permit for surveying in the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests.

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