NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Federal regulators are heading to central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley this week to hear from people impacted by the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

At the same time, groups against the pipeline are planning a public hearing to counter the one with regulators.

The Friends of Nelson Group is holding its own listening session for people to step up to the microphone and share their thoughts on the pipeline. That will be very different from the process at the public hearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Landowners who want to speak to FERC will be called into private rooms to provide comments to court reporters. Opponents of Dominion's proposed natural gas pipeline are encouraging people to also submit their comments in writing.

David Hight plans to attend FERC's hearing Wednesday night at Nelson County High School. He's a retired civil engineer who supports the pipeline.

Hight says, after talking with crews from Dominion, he's convinced the pipeline will be built professionally.

“They have been very thorough in their investigations. I think they have been considerate. I think they've been far more considerate than the consideration shown to Dominion. After all, they are simply a business trying to provide energy at lower cost to the American consumer,” said Hight.

“They know the power of when community members get together for the same thing and if they're all speaking the same language and learning from each other, it really empowers the community and takes some of the leverage away from, in this case, Dominion,” said Ernie Reed, Friends of Nelson President.

The FERC public hearing in Nelson County runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. That's an hour and a half shorter than the public hearings in other communities along the pipeline route.

The Friends of Nelson Group will have its own hearing next door at Nelson County Middle School from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. FERC will have a public hearing on the pipeline in Staunton on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Conference Center.