Atlantic Coast Pipeline – Major Topic for Landowners in WV & VA

by S. Tom Bond on October 14, 2014

Public Meeting Set on Proposed Major Pipeline to Cross WV-VA Mountains

Two meetings held in central WV on right-of–way for the huge gas pipeline project

Original Article by S. Tom Bond, Resident Farmer of Lewis County, WV

The second of a matched pair of meetings for those interested in fracking in Central West Virginia was held, September 17, 2014 at West Virginia Wesleyan College, by Dominion Resources. The principal attraction was detailed availability of information on the location of the 42 inch Atlantic Coast Pipeline in West Virginia.

The 550 mile pipeline begins in the extreme Southwest corner of Harrison County, West Virginia, and runs Southeast to a point on the Virginia-North Carolina state line in Greensville County about 80 miles from the Atlantic Coast, then Southwest In North Carolina to a point in Lumberton County, near the South Carolina state line. There is also a lateral from the point on the state line 70 some miles to Portsmouth, Virginia on the Atlantic coast.

The stated reason for the line is to supply gas fracked in Harrison, Lewis, Doddridge and surrounding counties to the market in the Southeast. I pointed out to the lady in line ahead of me that the lateral goes to a port area. A brown shirt fellow (Dominion’s uniform for the meeting) over heard and told us that this gas is not for export, Dominion has a gas liquefaction plant at Cove Point. I did not contradict him, but it is all too obvious as a second good possibility, in case Cove Point does not go through, or to increase overseas shipment.

If you like maps and photos of land, the photos laid out on three tables showing property boundaries were a delight. The photos were huge and showed every tree. There were three rows of them, for the thirds of the length. Each row had several photos. The property lines were superimposed, possibly from tax maps. Unfortunately they were an annoying bright orange, which crowded out the physical features such as streams and roads which were gray. If the landowner was familiar with the plot of his tract, it was easy, but if he/she followed the road, it required concentration and might not have been possible for someone not familiar with the grid of property lines. Not to worry, as they say, Dominion people were there to help those who needed it.

And there were posters around the wall, just like the previous night. No presentation and no embarrassing questions to answer. I have been concerned with where it was going to start, and no location was given – the line just sort of starts in the middle of nowhere. When I asked, I was sent to a head man who told me that wasn’t known yet! He said there was a ten mile strip between Lightburn station and a spot on Kincheloe where it would be placed, but they had not found a willing seller yet. Opportunity for some one there!

There were many landowners there in the first hour, between 5 and 6 pm, but not too many for the public viewing between 6:30 and 8:30. Ike and Mike were there. Ike Morris of Gilmer and Mike Ross of Randolph County. There was the Manchin “mobile office” parked in the unloading round about in front of the building, along with three local police cars.

Tim Higgins reports he asked one of the armed police why they were there. The reply he got was “ECO-TERRORISTS.” Now if you know anything about land ownership, you know that few young people own land. It is just too expensive to buy with proceeds of farming. No one since I was young borrows enough to buy much of a farm. You inherit it, or buy it with proceeds from another enterprise, not expecting it to pay for itself. Hence a group of landowners is bound to be a group of grey haired oldsters. The average age must have been over 50, maybe 55. If they wanted the equivalent of a military honor guard, OK. They thought bullets would be needed, tsk, tsk.

There were a lot of media there: WV NPR, Metro News, 3 newspapers, 2 TV stations. Some observations by others: 1) If this was an attempt by Dominion to show they will hire local people for this project — I could only scratch my head in wonder of all the out of state Dominion cars in the parking lot. 2) slick photographs and casual uniformed employees reminded me of the approach PATH (high voltage electric transmission line) took in presenting their case — same format. 3) I overheard several Dominion employees tell landowners — No harm will be done to your land — we can put it back better then it was. 4) When I saw so many police, I tried to get more information why. The policeman said ecoterrorists are known to burn buildings, spike trees, and put dirty used needles by gate locks. Really hope he was pulling my leg.

Fracking is part of a very much bigger picture. Much of it is not an image of reality, but an artwork fantasy. Both of these meetings were an example of overwhelming organized power speaking to tiny social islands residing here in Appalachia. It was not interactive in any sense of the word.

These meetings seemed to have a big business theme of “what is mine is mine and what is yours is mine too, if I want it.” That’s part of the problem. But why do legislatures, the judicial bodies, and regulatory agencies, not only here but elsewhere, reframe the loss and damage of extreme energy in such a way as to ignore the individual and advantage the corporation? Why is concentration of wealth, to the detriment of liberty, health and quality of life, such a moving force?

We have to fight for our own, our own private property and our welfare and our families’ welfare.  (Also,  keep in mind conditions overseas where lots of people in many places are fighting to avoid drowning in changes to their lifestyle in which they become submerged by unfamiliar controlling influences.)

NOTICE:  You are invited to the WV.Wilderness “Pipeline Aware Meeting”  set for Thursday, October 16th from 3 pm to 8 pm at Tyrand Ministries in Mill Creek, Randolph County, WV.

Press interviews and pipeline route tours are being scheduled throughout the afternoon. Directions: In Mill Creek on US Route 219 turn on Back Road/Route 39 at the United Methodist Church and continue for 1.5 miles, and turn at brick house on the right.

For more information contact Lauren Ragland with WV.WL at 304-339-2598 or  Also contact the Facebook Cause page with 5,000 regular visitors and 700 members, “WV Wilderness Lovers vs Proposed Pipeline” and join the 10,000 readers of “No Pipeline National Forest” on Google+.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Greenbrier Watershed October 15, 2014 at 9:18 am

The Greenbrier River Watershed Association will be holding public meetings in the affected counties for both proposed PIPELINE routes to educate citizens about how their property rights.

Also to be discussed is how property values might be affected, the environmental issues and effects of the proposed pipelines. The safety issues and the implications of bringing more fracking wells on line in the future are very important.

The first of these meetings is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21 from 6-8 pm in Hinton at the Summers County Memorial Building.


D. R. Whitacre October 22, 2014 at 7:55 am

I too have environmental concerns about fracking in WV.

I live in WV, and am wondering about all the plans for 2015 ….


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