Augusta County: Dominion in violation of state code with latest pipeline route

augusta countyThe Augusta County Board of Supervisors is laying down the law to Dominion over its latest proposed pipeline route.

In the letter, the board informs Dominion that the latest route for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline “fails to meet the requirements of the Virginia Code” and is “not the most advantageous route.”

The letter concludes that Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC is “required to cease and desist immediately any assertions to Augusta County residents of authority to compel them to allow Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC to survey.”

“Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC has depended on (state law) to enter on to landowners’ properties and to petition local courts to order landowners to allow it to enter on to their property. In relying on state statute to enter peoples’ property, Atlantic Coast Pipeline must also be bound by its requirement that it seek the most advantageous route,” reads the letter, signed by BOS Chair Carolyn Bragg and dated May 26.

The letter notes that the new proposed route increases the length of the pipeline nearly 30 miles, costing the company an estimated $200 million, and that “clearly there is no economic advantage to the longer route.”

The proposed route crosses the floodplain at eight different locations, according to the letter, and crosses the recharge area of one of the county’s public water supply wells.

“Additionally, the proposed route will have a significant effect on pristine view of the Allegheny Mountains enjoyed by the property owners in the Deerfield Valley,” the letter goes on, noting that a different route proposed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission better addresses all of these concerns.

Having failed to seek the most advantageous route, Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC “lacks the legal authority to enter on to property along its proposed route, and furthermore lacks authority to bring suit under the provision” of the state statute.

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