Augusta County supervisors say the proposed Dominion natural gas pipeline could pose a risk not just to their area, but to other parts of Virginia as well.
The Augusta County Board of Supervisors commissioned a study that shows the county provides 250 billion gallons of water to surrounding areas. Supervisors say that clean water is at risk.
The $8,000 survey by Sullivan International Group identifies potential risks to groundwater and stream water that flows into counties adjacent to Augusta. The study suggests the mountainous county is especially prone to sinkholes. Supervisors say construction of a natural gas pipeline through the area could make that problem worse, and could contaminate their water source.
“The blasting may work for placing a pipe. It is not helpful to an area that has all these aquifers that are dependent on the caverns and fissures that we have to hold our water,” said Augusta County Supervisor Tracy Pyles.
Dominion says water is the most closely monitored environmental factor during any pipeline construction. The company says it plans to do tests to make sure the water quality in the area is the same after the pipeline is built as it was before.
Augusta will pass along the results of the survey to the Federal Environmental Regulatory Commission (FERC), which has to approve plans for the pipeline.
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