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Citizens call on FERC to slow down Atlantic Coast Pipeline approval process

earthThe Augusta County Alliance, acting on behalf of hundreds of concerned citizens, submitted a petition containing almost 600 names to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as part of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement process for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) on Thursday (April 6, 2017). The We the People Petition asks that the ACP application process be slowed down in order to “More fully, thoughtfully, and transparently assess the pros and cons of the ACP” while taking into consideration a number of questions spelled out in the document.

The petition, recently launched on-line through the Augusta County Alliance website and also in a paper form, has now garnered close to 600 signatures and the list continues to grow. ACA Co-chair Nancy Sorrells said that she believes “this petition helps put a face on the pipeline issue and exposes Dominion’s disingenuous public relations efforts that claim that the pipeline is in everyone’s best interests.”

Those signing the petition are not just persons whose property is directly impacted by the pipeline but also include hundreds of others concerned about the pipeline’s impacts to all communities, families, farms, businesses, schools, and public lands in the path of the project. “They want to ask questions and they want to get truthful answers and to be a part of the decision-making process,” said Sorrells. “The effects of this pipeline will extend far beyond the footprint of the project and people have a right to know if their quality of life is being compromised for a corporation’s private profit.”

The petitions asks FERC, the U.S. Forest Service, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and all other local, state, and federal decision making bodies to consider the following questions:

  • Do we already have sufficient pipeline capacity to meet energy demands in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina?
  • What are other energy efficiencies and alternatives to consider, such as solar and wind?
  • Are the routes being proposed by Dominion the least disruptive routes to the states, our farmlands, our communities, and to the well-being of citizens?
  • What are the short-term and long-term safety and economic impacts on our forests, farmlands, water, schools, and communities?
  • Is the use of eminent domain (the “taking” of private land) by a for-profit corporation at the expense of the rights of its citizens to possess property and pursue life, liberty and happiness considered constitutional?
  • Should there be a better assessment of the jobs to be gained in the short and long term and whether other energy resource projects might provide an equal number (or more) of jobs?
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