Large Diameter Long Distance Gas Pipelines in WV & VA

by Duane Nichols on December 19, 2015

Let's protect our homes, farms, schools, etc.

Upshur County and the Large Diameter InterState Gas Pipelines

Dear Friends: Nice report on WDTV, Channel 5 News

On the last day of my travels in WV, I made a presentation to the Upshur County Commission in Buckhannon,WV requesting a resolution from the Commissioners to FERC asking for a PEIS in WV. Dominion packed the room with their supporters and a debate ensued over several issues including global warming, the need for pipelines and gas, property rights and environmental damage. The TV station is located in Harrison County, WV which is a stronghold for the gas industry. Tensions were high at the end.

The Commissioners were very gracious and asked many questions. Overall, it was a good day for pipeline opponents.

See the video below:

Tensions were very high Thursday at the Upshur County Commission meeting. Some environmental groups want an environmental impact statement done for our state’s proposed pipelines. They battled back and forth with Dominion Transmission representatives on what the impacts may be and if more pipelines are actually needed.

The thing that brought the claws out in the first place is there are actually no federal guidelines that control where a pipeline can be built. It’s left up to our local governments. Even when research and data were brought up at the meeting from pipeline supporters and those opposing, no one could agree and it didn’t get any simpler.

The Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance suggests the Upshur County Commission form a committee to produce the required Hazard Mitigation Plan so that Dominion Transmission could move the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s route to a more advisable location before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues a permit.

The 550-mile pipeline would go from Harrison County to Virginia and North Carolina through some public areas, such as less than half a mile from Buckhannon-Upshur High School. The Preservation Alliance says the pipeline is the largest and highest-pressure pipeline ever attempted in these three states.

We have seven pipelines in our state and each side argues whether or not they’re needed. Dominion representatives say they increase the quality of life in modern society and we’re responsible for being as energy independent as possible. While the Preservation Alliance Chair agrees we should be energy independent, she says we can do that through renewable energy and that pipelines decrease our quality of life.

However, the director of Dominion’s Pipeline Integrity and Records says they’re following the requirements and reviewing the consequences.

“When I talk about the operations and maintenance requirements, there are corridors which we are required to study. And we have to evaluate who lives in that corridor, what type of structures are there, and what the consequences of a failure could be. And that really dictates how we operate, maintain, design, and construct the pipeline,” said Shawn Miller, the Director of Pipeline Integrity and Records at Dominion Transmission.

But a Pipelines Campaign Manager for the Sierra Club is concerned about things like accidental explosions, water and air quality, and our communities.

“I’m really concerned about the people here in the state, in West Virginia and Virginia, who don’t want these pipelines. And they have spent their lives building their properties up and now they have to give up their properties, their dreams, their hopes, their families are affected. It’s a big deal,” said Kirk Bowers, the Pipelines Campaign Manager for the Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapter.

Stay with 5 News to see what the Commission decides to do and what’s next for the possible Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Previous story involving these parties at an Upshur County Commission meeting:
Groups Clash on Proposed Pipeline Near Upshur County School

Kirk A Bowers, Virginia Chapter, Sierra Club
Pipelines Program Manager, 106 George Rogers Road
Charlottesville, VA 22911
Home (434) 296 8673, Cell (434) 249 1439

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