Groups, Veterans Voice Concern Over Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline
A handful of military veterans are lending their voice in support of groups concerned over plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which may travel through Nelson and Augusta counties.
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A handful of military veterans are lending their voice in support of groups concerned over plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
About four veterans spoke out Thursday, May 25, about fundamental problems they see with both the proposed natural gas pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline project.
They said they are "willing to defend their country and are going to defend their communities too."
"It's really become about the control of state governments, abuse of vulnerable communities by the extraction industries," said retired U.S. Army officer Russell Chisholm.
"My plea to the governor, to anyone who is elected into that role this November is stop looking backwards, let's look forwards and let’s make the Commonwealth of Virginia a hub of clean renewable energy," said retired U.S. Air Force Col. Dave Belote
Friends of Nelson and Augusta – both of which are against Dominion Energy’s proposed routes for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline - have also come forward with concerns about the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The department was set to look at all the water pathways touched by the pipeline's route, now it's a different story.
“Seven weeks ago the DEQ said that they were going to be doing the site-specific analysis, then just yesterday it was said that they've decided they aren't," said Ernie Reed with Friends of Nelson.
Reed says the DEQ's analysis is a responsibility that needs to be held up: "That's very important especially for a governor who says this is going to be the most environmentally friendly pipeline that's ever been built in the United States," he said.
The analysis will now be performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Dominion Energy released the following statement:
"At every stage of the project, we've taken tremendous care to meet the highest standards for protection of the environment and public safety. Throughout this process, we've worked with state and federal agencies to ensure the project receives a thorough environmental review with robust public participation. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) decision to utilize the Army Corps of Engineers’ nationwide permit 12 for wetland and stream crossings while also requiring an individual review and approval process for impacts to water quality will provide for public review of the protective measures we’ve adopted to preserve water quality. We stand ready to cooperate with DEQ on an efficient review and timely process."
NBC29 reached out to the U.S. Department of Environmental Quality, but have not received a comment from it.