Atlantic Coast Pipeline Concerns Told to FERC in Harrison County, WV

by Duane Nichols on March 25, 2015

WBOY News 12, Clarksburg, WV

Update: U.S.  Federal Energy Regulatory Commission heard concerns on Atlantic Coast Pipeline project

From an Article by Allen Clayton, WBOY, March 24, 2015

Clarksburg, WV — U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held its final meeting Tuesday evening at Bridgeport High School allowing residents to talk about their concerns of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Corky DeMarco, Executive Director of West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association said they encourage the public to give input regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Many residents are concerned what environmental impacts the pipeline will have. DeMarco said all the disturbances will be temporary and they plan to reseed and replace vegetation.

Some residents were in support of the pipeline project and spoke of the jobs it would provide to West Virginians. Others who were concerned on the impact to the land and wildlife said residents are concerned for some of the endangered species in those areas of the state.

“My principle concern at this point is that local fire departments are not equipped to take care of the effects if a pipe line should explode,” said Tom Bond, Lewis County resident.

Bond also said he’s concerned if the pipeline was to get a hole in it the size of pencil or a little larger could result in an explosion. He also said he feels concerned how emergency crews will be trained to handle those situations.

Original: 3/23/15

U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held a meeting Monday evening at Elkins High School in Randolph County to talk about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity to residents and businesses to verbally comment on the projects. The pipeline project would affect approximately 295.6 miles of a 42-inch-diameter pipeline in Harrison, Lewis, Upshur, Randolph, and Pocahontas Counties in West Virginia.

The Commission was speaking about the “Supply Header Project” which would involve construction and operation of approximately 38.7 miles of pipeline loop and the modification of existing compression facilities in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. A pipeline “Loop” is a segment of pipe constructed parallel to and existing pipeline to increase capacity.

“You’re going to have people here that are for this project because of the jobs that are going to be brought and the economic development that it will have in this area. Then there will be people who will be opposed because maybe the project may be on their property,” said Bob Orndorff, Senior Policy Advisor Dominion, WV.

Proposed construction of the planned facilities would affect more than 12,000 acres of land for the pipeline project and aboveground facilities. The environmental impact of the projects will be considered in one environmental impact statement that will be used by the commission. The commission said in its decision will be to determine whether its projects are a public convenience and necessity.


More Landowners Resisting Gas Pipelines in WV & VA

From an Article by Dan Heyman, Public News Service, March 23, 2015

More landowners are going to court to oppose huge pipelines intended to carry Marcellus and Utica natural gas to eastern markets. They say they are concerned in part about construction impacts.

CHARLESTON, WV – Huge pipelines intended to carry Marcellus and Utica natural gas to eastern markets are running into spreading resistance from landowners.  Richmond-based Dominion Resources and its partners have filed about 100 lawsuits against landowners who are resisting surveying crews for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Now landowners in the path of a different pipeline, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, have filed preemptive suits to stop surveying crews hired by the Pittsburgh-based EQT energy company and its partners.

Isak Howell is an attorney with Appalachian Mountain Advocates, a non-profit organization that represents dozens of landowners along each line. “These companies are proposing to use the right of eminent domain -– the extraordinary power to take private property against the landowners’ wishes – and it should not be granted lightly,” Howell states.

Each pipeline would cost billions of dollars, run for hundreds of miles and carry billions of cubic feet of gas a day. They are designed to carry Marcellus and Utica natural gas to North Carolina and Virginia, with other connections. Both projects would go through rugged, hard-to-build-in terrain. The companies argue the projects would put people to work and would lower gas prices, which they maintain would be good for the economy.

Howell says the landowners don’t expect to see any benefit in their region, just the negative impact on land and water. “They’re definitely going to have a huge environmental impact out on the land,” he stresses. “The companies should be held to the letter of the environmental laws before these pipelines are ever approved.”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will determine much of the future of both projects. Both cross national forests, which complicates the picture. And the landowner lawsuits in state courts will also need to be addressed.

Appalachian Mountain Advocates filed suit on behalf of three families in Summers and Monroe counties. Howell says their cases turn on the interpretation of a law that’s more than a century old.  He says it states a company can use eminent domain for a public use. But he says the gas won’t be used in West Virginia, which leaves open the question of whether it qualifies.

“There’s not a definitive case answering this question that I’ve been able to find, and so, possibly very soon, it’s going to be up to a West Virginia court to decide whether that bar is as high as we think it is,” he explains.

See also:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Appalachian Chronicle 3/25/15 March 25, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Natural Gas Industry Moves from the Absurd to the Profane

From an Article by Michael Barrick, Appalachian Chronicle, March 25, 2015

God opposes farming, supports fracking, says gas industry executive at FERC meeting

Bridgeport, WV – Executive Director Corky DeMarco of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) said here last evening that it is not God’s will that West Virginians be farmers. Instead, he said, it is God’s will that the natural gas industry extract all it can out of the Marcellus shale.

He said this at the last of several public scoping meetings being held by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to consider the environmental impact of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). Those who find it hard to believe that he would make such a statement need only wait for the transcript of the meeting to be published by FERC. Or, you can ask any one of the number of audience members – many of them farmers.

The meeting was held at Bridgeport High School. Citizens have until April 28th to send FERC comments regarding the environmental impact of the proposed ACP.

With his remarks, DeMarco has managed to move the natural gas industry’s position on fracking and related pipeline development from the absurd to the profane. Indeed, Webster’s Universal College Dictionary defines profane as “showing irreverence towards God or sacred things.”


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: