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Property Owners Opposed to Pipeline Host Revival in Nelson Co.

Posted: Updated: Nov 18, 2016 10:40 PM
Property Rights Revival in Nelson Co. Property Rights Revival in Nelson Co.
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Property owners in the path of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline are raising their voices in opposition to Dominion's project.

They're hoping federal regulators hear their testimonies shared Sunday afternoon at an old-fashioned Sunday revival in Nelson County.

The Property Rights Revival kicked off under a big white tent at the Rockfish Valley Community Center.

Anti-pipeline property owners explained why they believe the pipeline would affect their livelihood, businesses and the history in Nelson County.

"So I'm fighting to keep the pipeline from my property,” Hazel Palmer says to a cheering crowd.

Eighty-three-year-old Palmer, who lives in Augusta County, is fighting the ACP all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court.

"I'm just devastated that I've taken care of the property for so long and to have somebody come in and just take it from me and I can’t do anything about it," Palmer said.

The court will decide whether pipeline crews had the right to survey her Lyndhurst property without her permission.

"They'll be drilling through my mountain almost a mile, 52-inch hole for a 42-inch pipeline. And there shouldn't be a 42-inch pipeline anywhere in the United States,” Palmer said.

Palmer joined her attorney and dozens of other landowners along the pipeline's route at the revival. They “testified” under the tent about the project's potential impacts.

Some burned offers from Dominion to buy easements on their land.

“I got a piece of property that I bought as an investment together with my father and wanted to develop and would be in the benefit of the county and bring a lot of dollars in, and instead what we've now got is preferencing Dominion's corporate interest over ours,” Nelson County resident Richard Averitt said.

Dominion says it is trying to work with property owners.

"We're sensitive to landowners needs and certainly want to work with them because they know their properties better than anyone else … by doing so that’s the best way to find the best route," Dominion spokesperson Frank Mack said.

Averitt says he's not giving up without a fight.

"They will have to take my wife, and myself and my kids in handcuffs off our property before they cut down the first tree,” Averitt said.

Other property owners say building this pipeline is an abuse of eminent domain for Dominion's profit.

Dominion says taking away land only happens in extreme cases, and the company can usually come to an agreement on compensation with the landowners.

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