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Nelson County Home Owners Association Works to Protect Residents from Proposed Pipeline

Posted: Updated: Jun 28, 2015 09:29 PM
The Woods Mill Homeowners Association has submitted letters addressing the fact that Dominion's proposed path for the natural gas pipeline would cut right through their neighborhood. The Woods Mill Homeowners Association has submitted letters addressing the fact that Dominion's proposed path for the natural gas pipeline would cut right through their neighborhood.
James Marshall discusses how the neighborhood will be affected if the pipeline does go through the area. James Marshall discusses how the neighborhood will be affected if the pipeline does go through the area.
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Another Nelson County neighborhood is fighting the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The Woods Mill Homeowners Association just sent letters to Dominion and federal regulators, showing the project cutting right through the middle of the development.

There are 18 houses set back in the forest. The gravel roads there are private and every home runs on well water. Homeowners say a pipeline running through the middle would thwart everything they spent their lives working for.

James Marshall, a homeowner and president of the homeowners association, walks along the tree line he knows the forest may not be there in the near future.

"The existing homes in here, they're our major investment in our lives, just like most people.  And we are just so disturbed about the idea of a corridor that contains this major pipeline coming through here," he said. 

The planned natural gas pipeline would cross two creeks that flow through the Woods Mill development into the Rockfish River.

"We're concerned about what the pipeline and its construction is going to mean as far as water quality. All of us in here have wells," says Darcy Baker, Woods Mill homeowner.

She and her husband built their home themselves.

"The pipeline would pass right at the tip of our property right over there, and if that's an 8-lane highway coming through, all that nice woods for the animals would be broken through," says Baker.

The amount of space that the pipeline would take up is significant to understanding the concerns of these residents. The north and south bound lanes at Route 29 near Woods Mill is about a 70 foot easement. The 150 foot easement that Dominion's proposing would be more than twice that width.

With this in mind, Baker is fighting the energy company to keep the pipeline out of her development. She denied surveyors access to her land, but says she's worried what could happen next.

"I'm really nervous what to expect. I don't know what that means, really being sued, but we're just going to do everything we can to stop it from happening," says Baker.

Marshall says he sent a letter to federal regulators stating all of the potential harm the project could do to his community. He hopes they take his comments into consideration before making their decision on whether or not to approve the pipeline.


Dominion Statement:

One of our highest priorities is to protect water resources and other environmental features. We will take every reasonable measure to not have an impact on wells serving Woods Mill and elsewhere along the path of the project. Should it be documented that there is any impact along the pipeline's path we will be responsible for coming up with solution.

Regarding the question about the forested area, we work to minimize the amount of trees that needed to be removed. After construction, the land is seeded and can become a valuable wildlife habitat. In one instance in Pennsylvania, for example, we we were asked to reseed with a mixture that is attractive for elk to eat. The project has been an important contributor to the restoration of the elk population in that state.

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