Friends of Nelson steps up to protect water quality in Nelson County

economic-forecast-headerFriends of Nelson is providing funding support for two initiatives that will be instrumental in understanding the potential impacts of Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) on Nelson County’s groundwaters and streams.

The findings from these efforts will help assure that, whatever the future holds with the proposed ACP, Nelson’s high quality water will remain uncompromised.

Downstream Strategies, a Morgantown, W.Va. environmental consulting firm, has been contracted by the Allegheny Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) to examine the implications of pipeline development for private and public water supplies.  Their report will provide recommendations for water quality and quantity monitoring for landowners and water providers.  The report will include Nelson County and will address both the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Friends of Nelson is one of the 47 members of ABRA, which includes groups from Nelson, Highland, Augusta, Bath and Buckingham Counties in VA, along with West Virginia counties opposing the construction of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Friends of Nelson is also partnering with Trout Unlimited to implement surface water and stream monitoring in Nelson County.  Teams of volunteers will be trained in water quality testing, and they will monitor specific areas of stream crossings by the pipeline and its access roads. Lab experts will analyze the samples collected by the monitoring teams.

The project will also generate baseline water quality information at sites where water would be used for hydrostatic testing of the pipeline.  Millions of gallons of water are required for this testing, after which the water is returned to streams, with potentially harmful consequences.

“These two complementary projects will put the strongest possible focus on the protection of water quality in Nelson County,” said Ernie Reed of Friends of Nelson. ”They will have positive effects lasting far beyond any pipelines proposed for our county.”

Friends of Nelson is looking for volunteers to participate in the stream monitoring project.  A training for volunteers will be held on Saturday, July 16 at Rockfish Valley Community Center.  No technical knowledge is required–only concern about Nelson’s water quality.

Friends of Nelson is also looking for donations to help fund these two initiatives. Donations can be made online at the Friends of Nelson, or by check, by mail (checks made payable to Virginia Organizing/Friends of Nelson) at P. O. Box 33, Nellysford, VA 22958.

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