FERC gives Atlantic Coast Pipeline a positive environmental impact statement

Published: Dec. 30, 2016 at 11:35 PM EST
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Dominion is confident the Atlantic Coast Pipeline offers solutions for new jobs and energy security, but some folks from the Valley don't want to see their home turn into a construction site.

On Route 340, in the community of Stuarts Draft sits Virginia Davis's farm market.

She says it's been a good season, but she's afraid it might be the last.

"Are customers going to want to come here if they think they could possibly be blown to bits because we're in the incineration zone?" Davis said.

Because not more than 125 yards from her business is the proposed route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that will run underground through several counties in Virginia. Augusta County being one of them.

However, the impact statement released today from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that most of the negative environmental impacts of the project could be avoided or minimized.

Dominion believes the public will be safe and says the environment is their top priority.

"What it says as we expected since we worked very hard on this is that the pipeline can be built with a minimum impact on the environment and this really is the best route to do it," Dominion spokesman Chet Wade said.

But pipeline opponents like Nancy Sorrells aren't buying it.

"Our response is to dig in and start looking at it closely to point out the inadequacies," she said.

Sorrells says she will not stop fighting for her county and neighbors like Virginia Davis.

"In fact, if it were built would be an incredible disaster that we'll regret for decades," Sorrells said.

FERC has extended its normal public comment period about this statement from 45 to 90 days and Sorrells says she plans to take full advantage of that time with letters of concern and protests.