Wintergreen Community Holds Meeting on Proposed Pipeline
Residents of Wintergreen Resort are banding together against Dominion's proposed route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Residents of Wintergreen Resort are banding together against Dominion's proposed route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Nelson County neighbors are offering the power company, as well as federal regulators, four alternative plans to move the natural gas pipeline away from parts of the resort.
“It really shows at the end of the day that there are better ways to create a less damaging pipeline route than what Dominion has done,” said Friends of Wintergreen Chairman Jonathan Ansell.
“If this was being done in Richmond at King's Dominion, it would be an issue because it's in Richmond. But here in Nelson County it isn't getting the attention it deserves,” said Wintergreen Fire & Rescue Chief Curtis Sheets.
The Friends of Wintergreen (FOW) organization is getting property owners updated on the situation since many of them are visiting the resort for the Memorial Day holiday.
It was a standing room only crowd Monday morning as several hundred people attended a community meeting at the resort.
Right now, Dominion's proposal brings the 3.5 foot-wide pipeline right under the only road in and out of Wintergreen. Some residents says that path threatens the resort's safety.
“We're a venue that attracts 10,000 people a day with one exit, and to lay a pipeline across that doesn't make any sense,” said Sheets.
"It's not as if we're saying no pipeline, we're just saying Dominion needs to be more responsible," Ansell said.
The group also estimates the pipeline would cause the Wintergreen area to lose $75 million in new investment, including a proposed hotel at the resort.
“It doesn't seem like they have an appreciation of the magnitude of the economic concerns,” said Wintergreen Resort General Manager Hank Thiess.
In a statement to NBC29, Dominion says, "Our extensive analysis found a number of significant construction challenges and federal land management restrictions that would prevent us from using these proposed alternatives."
Dominion says Nelson County shouldn't worry about a drop in tourism. The energy company points to California's Napa Valley, which has 280 miles of natural gas pipeline running beneath its famous wine country.
The pipeline still needs approval from the Federal Environmental Regulatory Commission (FERC) before crews can begin breaking ground on the project.
FERC is accepting comments on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline until June 10.