Farm Bureau of Augusta County Approves Anti-Pipeline Resolution

by Duane Nichols on October 2, 2018

ACP Path in Augusta County VA

Farm Bureau in Virginia Approves Anti-Pipeline Resolution

From an Article by Bob Stuart, The News Virginian, Waynesboro, VA, September 29, 2018

While the builders of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are waiting for final approval of erosion and sediment plans from Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality to start Virginia construction, the local farm bureau has stated its opposition.

Last Monday, members of the Augusta County Farm Bureau voted by a more than two-to-one margin for a resolution to oppose the pipeline, which would include more than 55 miles of Augusta County land in its 600-mile path.

The resolution states opposition based on the potential adverse effect on “groundwater, crop production, livestock health, public safety, our agricultural heritage, and common natural treasures.” The resolution also speaks to eminent domain, saying pipelines “should be allowed to cross farm lands only with the freely-given consent of the landowners.”

The underground pipeline, when built, would stretch from West Virginia through Virginia to North Carolina. Dominion Energy Spokesman Aaron Ruby said pipeline construction has been happening for months in North Carolina and West Virginia.

While the project is far along in its development and construction on some phases has happened in neighboring states, Mount Sidney sheep farmer Leo Tammi said the pipeline is not a done deal.

“I’ve become much more optimistic we really can stop this thing,” said Tammi, who was one of the farm bureau members to support the resolution. Tammi said he remembers Augusta County opposition to a dam on the Middle River in the 1970s. He said a community outcry helped stall that project. “When the community does rise up it makes a difference,” he said.

Tammi calls the pipeline project “another wrong turn as we confront our future in a warming climate.” He also is against large corporate interests using farm land for a for-profit venture.

Bill Francisco has 200-acre farm in southern Augusta County where he grows Christmas trees, and has crops and pasture land. He also supported the resolution at Monday’s meeting. Francisco is concerned that the pipeline could impact Augusta County’s groundwater. Francisco also believes the vote by the farm bureau to protect farmland “indicates that more and more people are realizing there is little or no public need for this pipeline, so using eminent domain for it seems especially unfair.”

Tammi said he wishes the resources being devoted to the pipeline would instead be spent on renewable energy. “There are several reasons why this is wrong,” he said.

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