NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The fight against Dominion's proposed natural gas pipeline through central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley is heating up this week.

Representatives from the energy company are coming to Nelson County Tuesday to talk with landowners ahead of a meeting with the federal government.  

The pipeline opposition group Friends of Nelson is rallying its supporters and raising funds for this fight. The group supplies the "no pipeline" signs you see lining the highways like along Route 151. The group is getting a boost to fund the fight against Dominion's proposed natural gas pipeline.  

Friends of Nelson now counts nearly 1,000 member donors. Two supporters are each chipping in $5,000 to match all donations made to Friends of Nelson. They say the money will help pay for a pipeline impact study. 

Friends of Nelson and Augusta County Alliance have hired a Charlottesville firm to look at the economic impact the pipeline would have on the region. They want to present the study to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as it reviews Dominion's proposal.

“Elected officials across the state will be able to see, the public will be able to see, and Dominion will have to deal with something besides the smoke and mirrors they've put out,” said Friends of Nelson Vice President Ernie Reed.

Dominion is hosting an open house Tuesday March 10 to meet with property owners in the possible paths of the pipeline. The open house runs from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Nelson County High School.

The Friends of Nelson is organizing its efforts with a public meeting Thursday March 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the Rockfish Valley Community Center.

Friends of Nelson is also encouraging landowners along the proposed pipeline routes to prepare detailed reports of the environmental impact the project could have on their properties.  FERC representatives will listen to those comments for the first time at a 7 p.m. meeting next Wednesday, March 18, at Nelson County High School.