Crews quick to begin work of felling trees for pipeline project

Published: Jan. 22, 2018 at 6:36 PM EST
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The preliminary work of clearing a path for the multi-state Atlantic Coast Pipeline is now underway.

Crews wasted little time after

cutting down — or felling — trees in upland areas. The process must be done by hand without the use of equipment that can disturb the ground.

"We plan to do construction this year," said Aaron Ruby, Dominion Energy spokesperson. "We're only doing it on properties where we've reached an agreement with the landowner and of course not doing any of the activity on wetlands or other bodies that require additional permits."

Ruby projected full construction of the natural gas project, which Dominion Energy estimates will create more than 17,000 jobs and generate $2.7 billion in economic activity, would begin in early spring.

In December, the Virginia State Water Control Board approved a water quality certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, pending submission of soil, erosion and storm water plans.

Ruby confirmed tree felling is underway in portions of the Valley.

Nancy Sorrells, who lives in Augusta County, is outspoken in her opposition to the project.

"It worries us, of course, because this pipeline's not a done deal yet and Dominion's pretty cocky about moving forward," she said. "This pipeline is inappropriate and unneeded."

Sorrells said people against the project are not discouraged by the new developments.

"I think the people have more resolve than ever," she said. "We're going to make sure that the promises that they make are upheld."