Community Meetings Scheduled on MVP Environmental Study

by Duane Nichols on September 1, 2016

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From Appalachian Voices-  Community Meetings on Mountain Valley Pipeline

POWHR , Virginia Sierra Club and Appalachian Voices are holding meetings to inform community members about the upcoming Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. 

The DEIS is expected to come out some time in September and there is only a 45 day window for people to give public comment. We hope that by holding these meetings we can prepare folks to respond quickly to the DEIS once it is published.

Our first community meeting, in Giles County, VA, went very well and we are excited to see how the rest go. 

Sept 1, Thursday, 6:30 PM - Summers County - Graham House: Rt. 3 and 12, Lowell, WV between Pence Springs and Talcott, WV

Sept 6, Tuesday, 7 PM - Preserve Bent Mountain & Preserve Franklin County - Bent Mountain Community Center: 10148 Tinsley Lane, Bent Mountain, VA

Sept 8, Thursday, 6 PM - Preserve Monroe County - Lindside United Methodist Church; Community building: 8764 Seneca Trail S. (route 219). Lindside, WV 

Sept 13, Tuesday, 7 PM - Preserve Montgomery County - Christiansburg Library: 125 Sheltman St, Christiansburg, VA

Kirk Bowers is giving a presentation on the NEPA process, FERC, and the DEIS at these meetings. We often have an attorney on hand to discuss legal tactics and land-owner rights, and then specific threats to individual counties or regions are discussed too.

POWHR is “Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights,”  a coalition of 13 or more groups concernced with the Mountain Valley Pipeline in western Virginia and southern West Virginia.  See also:

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Hydrogeological Assessment of Affected Streams 

Indian Creek Watershed has filed comments to FERC ‘Hydrogeological Assessmnent of Watershed Impacts Caused by Constructing the MVP through Summers and Monroe Counties, WV” by Pamela Dodds:

Hydrological Assessment: 

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Federal Lawsuit Regarding Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Last week, the Sierra Club and Appalachian Mountain Advocates filed a federal lawsuit challenging “prevention of significant deterioration” construction permit for Dominion Energy’s proposed gas $1.3 billion power plant in Greensville, Virginia. The suit was filed on the grounds that the permit unlawfully fails to require the “best available emissions control technology” for the power plant and fails to control against the massive quantities of methane that would leak from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, proposed to connect directly to the power plant.

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RR John Henry September 1, 2016 at 9:26 am

John Henry Legend –

Talcott, in Summers County, West Virginia, has gained some fame for being what many in the area consider to be the home of the John Henry legend. Henry was an African-American railroad worker in the 1800s who supposedly competed in a legendary race with a steam-powered drill bit, and won, dying in the process.

Historian Louis Chappell traveled to Talcott in the 1920s and interviewed railroad workers who claimed to have worked with Henry when building the Great Bend tunnel on the C&O line through Talcott. The accounts of the surviving workers seemed to corroborate that Henry was, in fact, a real person, although the other aspects to the legend were impossible to confirm or deny based on the interviews conducted by Chappell.

The Hilldale-Talcott Ruritan Club raised a statue of Henry atop Big Bend mountain in 1972 to commemorate the legend. Talcott now hosts an annual John Henry Days festival each July that features re-tellings of the famous legend, duck races, craft booths, and other festivities.


Eliza Laubach September 2, 2016 at 10:32 am

‘Energize! Charlottesville’

By Eliza Laubach, Appalachian Voices, February 16, 2016

Charlottesville, Va., residents will soon have a sidewalk view of their energy use — on an electric pole. At eight different junctures of the city’s 13 neighborhoods, stripes on the poles will, like a bar graph, compare the average and previous month’s electricity and natural gas use in homes within the two intersecting boroughs.

Artist Matthew Slaats designed the installations to build awareness around energy use and infrastructure. “Our relationship with energy is not something we can turn off,” he says, “and the light poles, they’re everywhere and nowhere at the same time.”

The project is part of the two-year Energize! Charlottesville campaign, and is funded by the city and the Piedmont Council for the Arts. Among six local artists, Slaats won a $5,000 award to implement a captivating project that encourages residents to use less energy. The installations will be up for six months to a year; at its conclusion, the artist will organize block parties at each site to deepen community engagement.

Slaats, who also serves as executive director of The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative, says that building connections and bringing people together is a driving force in his work.

Hopes are high that the “pole graphs” project will help the city win the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a nationwide competition that will award $5 million to a town with the largest reduction in residential and municipal energy use over a two-year period. Charlottesville is one of 50 competing cities from across the country working to reduce its community energy consumption.

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