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Augusta Supervisors: Proposed Gas Pipeline Path too Close to Schools

Posted: Updated: Jan 09, 2015 05:30 PM
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Much has been said about the courtroom fights pending over Dominion's plans to force landowners to allow them to survey private property for a planned natural gas pipeline. Those legal fights have been between individuals and the utility company, but now an Augusta County school is objecting to the pipeline's path.

The project proposes a 42 inch wide natural gas pipeline that would run 550 miles through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.

Parents and county leaders are expressing concern over plans that show the pipeline within a half-mile of three different schools – Stuarts Draft Elementary, Middle and High Schools. County supervisors say there is not much they can do about it.

“If we have to evacuate those schools, it's not going to happen quickly and it would be really a production,” said supervisor David Karaffa. “I just think it's an unnecessary danger.”

Supervisor Carolyn Bragg says she is tracking the pipeline's route, and is concerned about the unexpected if it is built.

“The chances of something happening are slim, but should it happen, and it's beside the schools, not the location you would want it to happen,” said Bragg.

County supervisors say they've told Dominion their concerns about these schools being so close to that line, but they have yet to receive any response from the company.

“We were told by Dominion that they would get back to us about our concerns, however, we have not received any communication,” Karaffa said.

Dominion says route changes would cause the line to cut through more forest area, but county leaders say they still want to talk about it. A spokesperson for Dominion says plans are not finalized and that they are looking at all the alternatives to find the best route.

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