Augusta County Concerned Proposed Pipeline Could Hurt Water Supply
The Augusta County Board of Supervisors is worried the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline could endanger the county's biggest water supply.
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The Augusta County Board of Supervisors is worried the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline could endanger the county's biggest water supply.
The board recently hired a consultant to help them use a federal law to get regulators to listen to their concerns.
The Lyndhurst Well produces around one million gallons of fresh water a day, and serves roughly 15,000 people in the county. The well is fed by an underground spring, and the proposed route for Dominion Resources’ natural gas pipeline crosses right over it.
Supervisors are now demanding that federal regulators review the situation so their water isn't endangered.
"We have to protect our water, we have to protect the interests of our people, our environment to the same degree for this pipeline that we do for everybody else," said supervisor and Augusta Service Authority Chair Tracy Pyles.
Augusta County recognizes the importance of the well and enacted an ordinance to protect it.
"We were awarded the Pisces Award by the EPA for our forward thinking and our protection of water. And this all predates by years any idea that Dominion would be wanting to possibly disturb a very pristine, and perfect water supply," Pyles said.
Now, with a pipeline set to cross the land, Pyles is concerned contaminants could get into the fresh water.
"This is unstable rock, if you will, to a degree. It can open up to where that fly ash or whatever is in that DuPont Landfill can enter our supply," he said
The county voiced its concerns to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in October, but didn't hear back. Now, supervisors have hired a consultant to help force their hand.
"The National Environmental Protection Act gives us this leverage, so we say ‘you have to consider these things, you have to work with us in coordination to find amicable solutions," said the supervisor.
Dominion says they have met with the service authority in the past, and plan to do so again. However, supervisors say there's nothing left to talk about.
"We've had enough discussion. We want a movement of that pipeline off of our water supply," Pyles said.
Augusta County paid $5,000 to the consultant Coordination America to help communicate with federal regulators to review the issue.
Dominion representatives say they are aware of the county's concerns and look forward to setting up another meeting with them.
Statement from Dominion Virginia Power:
"We have met several times with the Augusta County Service Authority and are aware of its concerns. We also are working on responding to its questions and look forward to setting up another meeting with the authority to continue discussions about these important topics."