Friends of Wintergreen Offers Alternative Routes for Proposed PipelinePosted: Updated: May 16, 2016 05:56 PM
Nelson County's largest community is urging federal regulators to force Dominion to move its proposed natural gas pipeline away from their property.
Dominion's current route for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline takes the project right through the only road in and out of Wintergreen Resort. Property owners and the resort are now providing their own proposed routes for officials to consider.
David Schwiesow's Fortune Point property at Wintergreen is in the path of the proposed pipeline. “Up to this point, Dominion has completely ignored the concerns for Wintergreen,” he said.
Schwiesow and the Friends of Wintergreen group have come up with four proposals to take the pipeline away from their area: Have it run along Interstate 64 and over Afton Mountain, put it under existing Dominion power lines, have it travel along Route 56, or move the pipeline south of Wintergreen's entrance.
“Each route either completely takes care of the damage we've identified, eliminates it, or substantially reduces it,” Schwiesow said.
The group filed these alternatives with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Monday.
“We believe the most recent filing makes a compelling case for Dominion to find a different route for the pipeline,” said Wintergreen Resort General Manager Hank Theiss.
The resort says it's delaying plans to build a 150-room hotel and conference center until the pipeline route is settled. Wintergreen worries the pipeline will hurt its bottom line.
“I don't think it's clear whether these things will immediately come back. It's possible those opportunities will go away,” said Theiss.
The resort is Nelson County's largest employer, and it is backing the friends’ group filing. “We just don't understand why Dominion hasn't taken the initiative to truly find a different route than right through our front door,” Theiss said.
Schwiesow is confident FERC will force Dominion to find a way around Wintergreen Resort. “We've come up with responsible alternatives, and it's up to Dominion to treat them responsibly,” he said.
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