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Horizons Village Protests Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Posted: Updated: Sep 14, 2015 06:17 PM
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

A neighborhood in Nelson County says it now has proof that Dominion's proposed natural gas pipeline would wipe out rare plant and animal life.

The neighborhood Horizons Village has hired a firm based in Charlottesville to put together a 67 page survey of the plant and wildlife around them.

Horizons Village brought in a team from the Center for Urban Habitats to survey the ecosystem. They discovered three unique spots on the property including a wetland.

The center describes those spots as a “treasure” because they have sphagnum moss, which indicates a location for pristine water. The group documented more than 100 swamp White Oak Trees, a rarity in this part of central Virginia.

“The magic that I saw was that there was a presence of richness and variety in the plants and animals that takes a great amount of time to establish, and that's an uncommon thing to find.” Said Devin Floyd, the director of the Center for Urban Habitats.

Horizons neighbors are sharing all of this with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as it reviews the pipeline project.

Frank Mack of Dominion says they will conduct extensive environmental studies on the property. "The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will conduct extensive environmental and cultural studies along the proposed route which will include species specific surveys, Our overall routing methodology is to avoid, whenever possible, minimize impacts or mitigate."

“If you open this canopy up and now the sun comes through here and it dries this all up all year round, well it's not a wetland anymore, and all these species die,” said Randy Whiting of Horizons Village. “The pipeline basically hits dead center in the wetlands area.”

An environmental protection specialist plans to visit the village next week. The path of Dominion's proposed natural gas pipeline is marked in pink tape in the photos.