City Council Holds Meeting Concerning Pipeline

STAUNTON, Va. -- The tables are split on the proposed natural gas pipeline that will run through Augusta County.

"It's scary, after you contaminate the water, it will contaminate the environment," said Ann Zimmer, who lives in Staunton.

"It's progress, we need the energy and it's safe and the pipelines are safe," said Baldwin Jennings, who wants the pipeline built.

On Thursday, people in Staunton weighed in at a city council meeting at Robert E. Lee High School.

Dominion says safety is their top priority, but people like Ann Zimmer think otherwise.

She fears for the city's water supply, since the pipeline would run close to it.

"What are we going to do, turn on the faucet one day and have flames shooting out?" said Zimmer.

On the other side, Baldwin Jennings says the pipeline will be useful to the area and is safer than transporting other fuels.

"People are scared of the unknown. I'd rather see pipelines than liquefied fuel run through tank cars on railroads," said Jennings.

Council members questioned Dominion staff on the safety of the pipeline and the risks it poses before, during, and after its construction.

"My fear is pipeline construction creates debris and affects watersheds. How can the company assure us that this pipeline won't explode, that it won't leak? What happens if it does explode? Will they be responsible for the clean-up?" said Erik Curren, who is a member of the city council.

Either way, people here and throughout Augusta County can only wait to see if the pipeline will be built.


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