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Anti-Pipeline Group Hosts Tribunal In Wake of Pipeline Projects' Approval

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Tribunal at CitySpace Tribunal at CitySpace
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Saturday, anti-pipeline group Friends of Buckingham hosted a tribunal at Charlottesville's CitySpace where more than 40 people spoke about what they see as the negative effects of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). This comes about a week after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the pipeline.

“Even though they say it's a done deal, I say that it’s not a done deal,” said Ruby Laury, who lives near the proposed compressor station.

Laury, who moved to Buckingham County 10 years ago, described her reasons for moving: "the beautiful scenery, no pollution, no noise, just wanted to live out our golden years."

Now she is worried about gas emissions from a proposed compressor station for the natural gas pipeline affecting her family and animals on her farm nearby. “[I] was just totally blown away about what these poisonous gasses can do to the environment - not only to the human beings - but also to our farm animals,” she said.

Andrew Tyler of the Coalition of Woodland Nations, is a Native American descendant. “This red tear that I wear under my left eye, I wear it to acknowledge the sacrifices of my ancestors,” he said.

Tyler compares Dominion Energy potentially using eminent domain to acquire land for the pipeline to British colonizers claiming the land of the Native Americans.

“So here we are today, 500 years later, and the dominant culture still looks upon our homes and claims eminent domain. Only now they're not looking at native people but non-native people as well, people with homes and farms and businesses, corporate entities and their political allies who are blinded by the sickness of greed,” Tyler said.

The testimonies heard at the tribunal were documented and will be sent to the United Nations in hopes of receiving aid in the ongoing fight against the pipeline.

Dominion Energy maintains it will fairly compensate all landowners along the pipeline route and will only invoke eminent domain if an agreement cannot be reached.

Editor's Note:  This story has been updated to correct an error. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the pipeline, not the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, as was stated in the previous version.

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