Dominion Again Asking to Survey Augusta and Nelson Properties
Earlier this year Dominion asked for permission to survey Augusta and Nelson properties that may be affected by a proposed pipeline. Many property owners didn't respond or said no, so now Dominion is asking again.
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Dominion is sending out yet another round of letters to homeowners who may be affected by the proposed natural gas pipeline that would cut through portions of Augusta and Nelson counties on its way to North Carolina. There has been a lot of opposition to the pipeline. Now Dominion says it's preparing for even more.
Dominion is in the process of sending out 189 letters to property owners - 46 in Augusta County and 97 in Nelson County - asking anyone who has an objection to the pipeline to let them know that before this process moves forward. Earlier this year, letters were sent out asking people for permission to survey their properties. Many of those property owners either didn't respond, or said no, so now Dominion is asking again.
The Dominion representatives we spoke with are saying even people who are opposed to the pipeline should allow surveyors on their properties. “There are many cases where we've been able to adjust routes based on the information we receive from landowners. If they truly have information that tells us that that's not the appropriate route for the pipeline, than we want to know about it, the sooner the better for all the parties concerned,” said Dominion spokesperson Chet Wade.
Dominion is facing lawsuits at both the federal and state level over the proposed pipeline. Representatives say that's not deterring them from this project, and they're still committed.
They say they're really expecting the next step in this project to hit full board after the New Year when federal regulators will hold meetings and people can speak up in opposition to the pipeline.
Friends of Nelson Press Release
76% of Nelson County residents directly impacted by Dominion Transmission's Atlantic Coast Pipeline have refused access to their properties for surveys, according to statistics compiled by Friends of Nelson.
Just as Dominion has taken steps to intimidate landowners into changing their minds, Friends of Nelson has completed an initial survey of 167 landowners in the path of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. 127 landowners have responded as having officially denied access to Dominion surveyors.
“This unified response is unprecedented,” said Joanna Salidis of Friends of Nelson. “A supermajority of Nelson County residents are standing up against Dominion and saying in one voice ‘No, not here.'”
As of Nov 10, 2014, 76% of the landowners along the current study-corridor for the Dominion ACP Pipeline within Nelson County have told Friends of Nelson they have denied Dominion access to their properties to survey.
The statute upon which Dominion is basing its threats of legal action against residents is currently under review in federal court to determine its constitutionality. “Friends of Nelson asserts that surveying without landowner's permission is indeed criminal trespass,” said Salidis. “Landowners are doing nothing wrong or improper in continuing to answer Dominion's request for survey with an emphatic ‘No.'”
“The federal government has not determined that this pipeline is in the public interest and, therefore landowners should not be subject to Dominion's personal harassment and threats of eminent domain.”
Public meetings for Nelson County residents opposing the pipeline are scheduled for Sunday, November 16th at Nelson County Public Library and Sunday, November 23rd at Rockfish Valley Community Center. Both meetings are at 7pm. For more information, contact Friends of Nelson at 434-260-3298.