Pipeline plans draw ire in Nelson

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The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is proposed to cross these Nelson County mountains. Photo: Jack Looney The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is proposed to cross these Nelson County mountains. Photo: Jack Looney

A proposed pipeline that would move fracked natural gas from extraction fields in West Virginia to southeast Virginia and North Carolina is generating angry opposition in Nelson County, where residents whose lands may lie in its path are raising concerns about property damage and pollution.

The Dominion Southeast Reliability Project, a 450-mile-long pipeline extension, would sprout from an existing Harrison County, West Virginia natural gas pipe and run through Highland, Nelson, Buckingham, Dinwiddie, Brunswick, and Greenville counties in Virginia, leading to spurs that would reach Hampton Roads and Lawrenceville as well as the Raleigh and Fayetteville areas of North Carolina, according to Dominion. It would be the latest in an existing network of some 7,800 miles of Dominion pipeline in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, and would transport natural gas extracted by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, from parts of the massive Marcellus and Utica shale formations.

According to a June 5 story in the Monterey-based newspaper The Recorder, Dominion initially told a state agency it would try to steer clear of public lands as it laid out a possible path for the pipeline, but a preliminary map has it crossing the Monongahela and George Washington national forests as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Meanwhile, property owners in Nelson are rallying against the proposal. About 150 residents turned out at a public meeting organized by the anti-pipeline group Friends of Nelson Monday night, the second opposition gathering this month, according to NBC29. They’re circulating a petition calling for a presentation on the project by Dominion.