Here’s an overview of developments regarding the drilling for or transport of natural gas in Virginia. Following that overview and a list of information sources, you’ll find an ongoing list of some news headlines since December 2013 on these topics, linked to the full article (links were functional at the time they were added to this post).
SOME MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS SINCE FALL 2015
Changes to Virginia’s Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations Published in October 2015, following June-Sept. 2015 Review by Governor.
Dominion Files Formal Request with FERC on 9/18/15 for Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Mountain Valley LLC Files Formal Request with FERC on 10/23/15 for Proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Va. Supreme Court on March 7, 2016, Refuses to Hear Appeal on Va. Law Allowing Pipeline Surveying without Landowner Permission.
Review of All Va. Gas/Oil Regulations Conducted in August 2016 by STRONGER Group.
FERC Releases Draft EIS for Mountain Valley Project on 9/16/16: Public-comment Sessions in Early November 2016, Comment Period Ends 12/22/16.
Draft EIS for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Released in December 30, 2016, with Public Comment Period through April 6, 2017.
FERC Delays Scheduled March 2017 Release of Final EIS for Mountain Valley Project; New Expected Release Date is June 23, 2017.
Nelson County Circuit Court Judge Rules in February 2017 Against 29 Nelson County Landowners over Access to Property by Surveyors for Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in April 2017 Announces Plans to Require Individual Permits for Stream or Wetland Crossings by Proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline and Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Va. DEQ Correction in May 2017: Agency Says It Mispoke in April and Instead the Corps of Engineers Will Lead Permit Process, and DEQ Will NOT Require Individual Permits Under 401 Certification Process. (For more details on this development, please see this Water Central News Grouper post. For more information on the federal Clean Water Act’s required Section 401 state certification process, see “401 Certification,” Association of State Wetland Managers, online at https://www.aswm.org/wetland-programs/regulation/401-certification).
U.S. Forest Service agrees in April 2017 to plan for Atlantic Coast Pipeline to tunnel under Blue Ridge Parkway.
Virginia Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on April 19, 2017, in Cases Challenging State Law on Access to Private Property for Natural Gas Surveyors.
Three groups announced plans in June 2017 to sue Va. DEQ over its decision regarding 401 certification process.
Congressional bills regarding FERC procedures announced June 7, 2017, by U.S. Sens. Kaine and Warner and U.S. Rep. Griffith.
OVERVIEW OF DRILLING DEVELOPMENTS
As of mid-2015, natural-gas extraction in Virginia occurred only in the southwestern coalfields region. But in 2010 to 2012, a gas-drilling operation was proposed in an area of Rockingham County that overlies the large Marcellus shale formation, the source of greatly expanded gas-drilling operations in recent years in the mid-Atlantic region, particularly in Pennsylvania and West Virginia; that proposal did not receive necessary local permits. (For a compilation of news stories and information resources since 2011 on natural gas activities in the Marcellus shale region, please see the Water Central News Grouper items at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/category/hydraulic-fracturing-and-marcellus.)
In 2013-14, Shore Oil and Exploration Corporation acquired gas-drilling leases in five counties on Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula that overlie the Taylorsville basin formation.
Also throughout 2014 the U.S. Forest Service was considering how to address natural-gas drilling in the current revision of the strategic plan for the George Washington National Forest (GWNF), which covers a large area of western Virginia. In mid-November 2014, the Forest Service announced that its new plan for the GWNF will allow hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, but also that the new plan will reduce the area where natural gas drilling is allowed from the current approximately 995,000 acres to about 177,000 acres. The new management plan, expected to be in effect for 10-15 years, is available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/gwjeff/index.php.
VIRGINIA REVIEW OF REGULATIONS ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING AND HORIZONTAL DRILLING
In December 2013, in response to these signs of potential increases in gas drilling, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) began a process of reviewing the Commonwealth’s regulations on the hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling methods of extracting gas and oil from shales and other geologic formations. That process began publicly with a 12/4/13 Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA), available from Virginia Regulatory Town Hall at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewStage.cfm?stageid=6829; see particularly the “Agency Statement” link the NOIRA, which describes the proposed action’s purpose, issues, and legal basis. In that online information, the DMME states that “hydraulic fracturing has been used safely in Virginia since the 1960s, [but that] DMME believes expanding disclosure of ingredients used in well stimulation and completion is an appropriate and necessary safeguard for the citizens of the Commonwealth. There is also a need to ensure that the regulation appropriately reflects current industry best practices, as the use of technology such as horizontal drilling has expanded considerably in recent years.”
A Regulatory Advisory Board met six times from June 2014 to January 2015 to helped DMME review and make recommendations about current regulations; Information about that panel is available at this link: http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DGO/RegulatoryAction.shtml.
In March 2015, DMME published its proposed changes to the regulations. Information about the proposed regulations is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewStage.cfm?stageid=7185 and http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4117. Following is DMME’s summary of the proposed action, from the agency’s March 10, 2015, Background Document: “The Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) is amending provisions of the Virginia Gas and Oil Regulation to expand the disclosure requirements of ingredients used in well stimulation and to ensure that the regulations reflect current industry best practices. To assist in this effort, DMME formed a Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP) consisting of a wide variety of stakeholders. Representatives from industry, environmental groups, other state agencies and local government participated on the RAP. All RAP meetings were open to the public and DMME created a webpage and e-mail list to keep the public informed of the RAP’s progress. The RAP offered fourteen recommendations, thirteen of which have been incorporated in the proposed regulations. The last recommendation will be incorporated in a forthcoming guidance document.
“Permit application requirements will be amended to include disclosure of all ingredients anticipated to be used in hydraulic fracturing operations, certification that the proposed operation complies with local land use ordinances, a groundwater sampling and monitoring plan, and submission of an emergency response plan. This section also requires a pre-application meeting jointly conducted by DMME and DEQ for persons wishing to drill for gas or oil in Tidewater, Virginia.
“Well completion report requirements will be amended to include disclosure of ingredients used in fracturing operations on FracFocus, the national hydraulic fracturing chemical registry website. Finally, the proposed regulations will be amended to reflect industry best practices with respect to the use of centralizers and other requirements that enhance well integrity, thus protecting groundwater and public health and safety.”
On July 22, 2015, the Virginia State Water Commission received a report on the possible new regulation; an account of that report to the Commission is in the following news item: State Water Commission Reviews Proposed Fracking Rules, NBC 12 TV-Richmond, 7/22/15.
On September 4, 2015, the Virginia Governor’s Office approved the proposed regulations; the governor had been reviewing the proposal since June 2015. The proposal was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on October 5, 2015. Related news accounts: 50 people attend state hearing about proposed changes to fracking regulations, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 11/3/15 [Nov. 2, 2015, public hearing in King George on proposed changes to oil and gas regulations].
In June 2016, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) announced that it had contracted with the STRONGER group (State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations; online at http://www.strongerinc.org/) to conduct a comprehensive review of all of Virginia’s gas and oil regulations. Virginia’s gas and oil regulations are available online at https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMME/LawsRegs.shtml#gasoil. STRONGER did a similar review in 2004 (a PDF of that review is available online at http://www.strongerinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Virginia-Initial-Review-4-2004.pdf), so the current review is being termed a “follow up.” The group conducted the 2016 review from August 8-11 in Abingdon, and it expects to publish the “State Review Report of the 2016 Virginia Follow-Up Review” in December 2016. Sources: Proposed state fracking review by private group concerns environmentalists, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 6/25/16. Virginia Natural Gas Regulations to be reviewed by STRONGER, DMME News Release, 8/3/16. STRONGER Completes Virginia In-State Interview, STRONGER News Release, 8/11/16.
OVERVIEW OF PIPELINES FOR GAS TRANSPORT DEVELOPMENTS
In 2014, transport of natural gas through the Commonwealth became a high-profile and controversial issue with the proposal of several new pipelines.
1) EQT Corporation of Pennsylvania, NextEra Energy of Florida. and several other entities have collaborated to form Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC and propose the approximately 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline from West Virginia to a connection at Chatham, in Pittsylvania County, Va., with the existing Transcontinental, or Transco, pipeline, which runs from Texas to New York. According to The Roanoke Times on November 12, 2016, the partners include EQT Corp., NextEra Energy, Con Edison Gas Midstream, WGL Midstream and RGC Midstream. On October 27, 2014, Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC submitted a a “pre-filing request” request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the agency to begin review of that proposed pipeline project. Then on October 23, 2015, Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC submitted its formal application for the project to FERC. The formally proposed route includes six Virginia counties: Craig, Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin, and Pittsylvania. The FERC docket number for the application is PF15-3; access to project documents and a place for public comments on the proposal are available online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ferconline.asp. On April 17, 2015, FERC issued a “Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement” for the Mountain Valley project. Access to a PDF of that Notice is online at http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20150417-3022. On September 16, 2016, FERC staff issued its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Mountain Valley Project, concluding that “that construction and operation of the projects would result in some adverse environmental impacts, but these impacts would be reduced with the implementation of the applicants’ proposed mitigation measures and the additional measures recommended in the EIS,” according to a summary on the FERC Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis/2016/09-16-16-eis.asp (accessed 9/19/16). The draft EIS underwent a public-comment period until Dec. 22, 2016. Access to the draft EIS is available online at http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis/2016/09-16-16-eis.asp. The FERC docket number for the draft EIS is CP16-10-000. For an overview of the draft EIS and for some immediate reaction, see FERC draft report calls pipeline’s potential impact ‘limited,’ Roanoke Times, 9/16/16. In late January 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) delay the release of the final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline. FERC delayed the final EIS release date in order to request additional information from the company proposing the project. The final EIS is expected to be released by FERC on June 23, 2017, according to news reports in early June 2017. See FERC delays release date for final environmental statement for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 1/31/17; As filings pile up, pipeline watchdogs call for supplemental draft environmental impact statement, Roanoke Times, 6/4/17.
2) Dominion Resources and several partners have proposed the approximately 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline from West Virginia through central Virginia to North Carolina. According to The Roanoke Times on November 12, 2016, the partners include Dominion, Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company Gas. On October 31, 2014, Dominion submitted a “pre-filing request” request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the agency to begin review of that proposed pipeline project. Then on September 18, 2015, Dominion filed its formal application to FERC for the proposed project. On December 30, 2016, FERC released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed project; the EIS is available online at https://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis/2016/12-30-16-DEIS.asp. The public comment period on the draft EIS ran until April 6, 2017. The FERC docket number is CP15-554-000; access to FERC documents and a place for public comments on the proposal are available online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ferconline.asp (registration required).
3) Spectra Energy of Houston had been evaluating a proposal for a pipeline from Pennsylvania through central Virginia to North Carolina, but in August 2014 the company confirmed that it has suspended work on that proposal for the time being.
4) The Williams Company, headquartered in Oklahoma, is proposing the Appalachian Connector, formerly called the Western Marcellus Pipeline, which would run from Oak Grove, West Virginia, to Chatham, Va.; at Chatham, the pipeline would connect with the Transco pipeline, which Williams operates.
5) Columbia Pipeline Group is proposing the WB Xpress, a significant expansion and upgrade of its existing pipeline network in Virginia and West Virginia.
The Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast proposals received support from Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe, but they became the focus of widespread public reaction, concern, and comment regarding the proposed routes and their connection to hydraulic fracturing and fossil-fuel use in general. The debate was continuing in 2016-17.
Sources for pipelines summary information above:
Mountain Valley Pipeline submits formal application to FERC, Roanoke Times, 10/24/15.
Pipeline company files formal application with FERC, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/18/15.
A Plethora of Pipelines, Bacon’s Rebellion, 8/18/15.
U.S. OKs fracking in GW National Forest, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/18/14.
Dominion asks U.S. [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] to start review of Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/3/14.
Dominion Asks FERC To Begin Environmental Review Of Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Dominion Resources News Release, 10/31/14.
Western Marcellus Pipeline is 3rd seeking passage through Va., Roanoke Times, 10/30/14.
Pipeline company moves to initiate federal review of proposal [for Mountain Valley Pipeline], Roanoke Times, 10/28/14.
Governor McAuliffe, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell and Virginia Natural Gas Chairman Hank Linginfelter to Announce Economic Impacts of Atlantic Coast Pipeline for Virginia, 9/2/14.
Natural gas pipeline plan riles Floyd County, Roanoke Times, 8/14/14.
Large crowd on hand for Nelson pipeline meeting; Spectra project on hold, Charlottesville Daily Progress, 8/12/14.
Panel to review Virginia oil and gas regulations, Bay Journal, 6/3/14.
With natural gas drilling possibly shifting to eastern Va., state looks anew at regulations, Associated Press, as published by Greenfield [Indiana] Daily Reporter, 5/31/14.
PROJECT COMPANIES INFORMATION SOURCES
Appalachian Connector Pipeline: co.williams.com/williams/operations/gas-pipeline/expansion-projects/transco-expansion-projects/appalachian-connector.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline: dom.com/corporate/what-we-do/natural-gas/atlantic-coast-pipeline.
Mountain Valley Pipeline: mountainvalleypipeline.info.
GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SOURCES
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Main Web site on natural gas is http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas.asp. For documents on proposed projects and a place for public comments on proposals, see http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ferconline.asp. The FERC docket number for the Mountain Valley Pipeline proposal is PF15-3; the docket number for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline proposal is PF15-6-000.
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation/Virginia Cave Board: “Frequently Asked Questions About Gas Transmission Pipelines Through Karst Terrains,” by the Virginia Cave Board (undated), online (as PDF) at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/document/faq-nat-gas-trans-pipelines-karst.pdf.
OTHER INFORMATION SOURCES
Pipeline Information Network, a project of a group of students and faculty at Virginia Tech, designed to be an independent, non-partisan source of information about the Mountain Valley Pipeline project. Online at http://www.pipelinenetwork.org/.
NEWS STORIES ABOUT, OR RELEVANT TO, NATURAL-GAS DRILLING, USE, OR TRANSPORT IN VIRGINIA, SINCE DECEMBER 2013
Listed from most recent to oldest; all hyperlinks were functional as of the date they were added to this post, but they may not be at later times.
Detailed, overview articles:
A Matter of Public Necessity, Bacon’s Rebellion, 9/22/16 [detailed article with background on the current natural gas pipeline project proposals].
More specific articles:
“A very confused, inaccurate picture is being spread”: Why did Virginia DEQ wait seven weeks to correct inaccurate pipeline statement?, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/20/17. [This article examines details of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s plans for reviewing potential environmental impacts of the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines, should those projects receive approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).]
Virginia DEQ pledges thorough review of pipeline impacts, Roanoke Times, 6/18/17. [In a mid-June 2017 e-mail communication reported by The Roanoke Times, Virginia Deparment of Environmental Quality (DEQ) spokesman Bill Hayden detailed steps that the DEQ intends to take in reviewing potential environmental impacts of the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines, should those projects receive approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).]
Montgomery County to ask Virginia DEQ to reconsider pipeline permit policy, WDBJ TV-Roanoke, 6/12/17. [On June 12, 2017, the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors approved a request from Preserve Montgomery County that the board send a letter to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality requesting the department to do individual Clean Water Action Section 401 certifications for each waterway and wetlands impacted by the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.]
Top Virginia environmental official defends pipeline reviews, Associated Press, as published by Virginian-Pilot, 6/8/17. [In an interview on June 6, 2017, DEQ Director David Paylor defended his agency’s decision to have the Army Corps of Engineers direct permitting for potential impacts of the proposed pipelines’s waterway and wetlands crossings, saying that the DEQ will focus on potential impacts in watersheds upstream of the proposed crossings.]
Group sues Virginia environmental agency over pipeline permitting, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/7/17. [In early June 2017, three groups—Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition, Bold Alliance, and Preserve Craig, Inc.—filed suit in Richmond Circuit Court, challenging the decision by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality not to conduct its own assessments of impacts from stream and wetland crossings by the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines, but rather will rely on decisions made by the Army Corps of Engineers’ permitting process of assessing the impacts of stream and wetland crossings.]
Legislators seek reform of FERC’s pipeline review process, Roanoke Times, 6/7/17. [On June 7, 2017, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D.-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va. 9th) announced plans to introduce legislation that would place new requirements on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) procedures for environmental impact reviews of proposed interstate natural gas pipelines. The bills are expected to required increased public comment opportunities and to state that eminent domain easements across private property should be for public (not private) use. The Senate bill is also expected to require FERC to do “programmatic” environmental reviews when two pipelines are proposed within a certain distance or time of each other; the House bill is not expected to include such a provision.]
As filings pile up, pipeline watchdogs call for supplemental draft environmental impact statement, Roanoke Times, 6/4/17. [This article describes the large volume of filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the proposed Mountain Valley pipeline. FERC is expected to issue its environmental impact statement on the proposed project on June 23, 2017].
Franklin County family repels surveyors with help of sheriff’s office, Roanoke Times, 6/6/17 [regarding how sheriff’s departments in several counties are handling encounters between landowners and surveyor for the proposed Mountain Valley pipeline].
Virginia governor’s race ‘a referendum on pipelines’, Roanoke Times, 6/4/17 [regarding the positions of five Virginia gubernatorial candidates in the June 13, 2017, primary, and the authority Virginia’s governor has over whether and how proposed natural gas pipelines are built].
Report highlights Dominion efforts to secure Atlantic Coast Pipeline approval, Southeast Energy News, 6/1/17.
In Home Stretch of Virginia Gubernatorial Race, Resistance to Atlantic Coast Pipeline Grows, Natural Gas Intelligence, 5/31/17.
Groups, Veterans Voice Concern Over Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, NBC 29 TV-Charlottesville, Va., 5/25/17.
Virginia DEQ denies backpedaling on pipeline water-crossing reviews, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/24/17; DEQ acknowledges error, clarifies approach to review of pipelines, Roanoke Times, 5/24/17; As gas pipelines roil Virginia governor’s race, regulators backtrack on their role, Washington Post, 5/25/17; and DEQ draws ire of pipeline opponents, The News Virginian [Waynesboro], 5/25/17. [The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will not require individual permits for stream and wetland impacts of the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines, as the agency announced on April 7, 2017. The agency said on May 24 that the April announcement was an error, and that instead the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would be responsible for determining whether such impacts required individual permits or could be authorized under the more general Clean Water Act Nationwide Permit 12 process.]
Virginia landowners, environmentalists urge divestment to stop proposed natural gas pipeline, ThinkProgress (Center for American Progress Action Fund), 5/22/17. [Opponents of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline are advocating for people to remove investments from six banks financing the proposed project.]
New poll shows support for Atlantic Coast Pipeline among voters in three affected states, Virginia Business, 5/22/17; and Poll: Most Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina residents back Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Nelson County Times, 5/22/17. [In a May 8-11, 2017, poll by Consumer Energy Alliance (online at http://consumerenergyalliance.org/) of 400 registered voters in West Virginia, 500 in Virginia, and 660 in North Carolina, 60 percent of polled voters in West Virginia said they support the proposed Atlantic Coast pipeline, while 28 percent said they oppose it; in Virginia, the responses were 54 percent in favor to 31 percent opposed; and in North Carolina, the responses were 52 percent in favor and 32 percent opposed.]
Pipeline route lands [Giles County, Va., town of] Newport on list of state’s “most endangered” historic places [list published by Preservation Virginia, online at https://preservationvirginia.org/), Roanoke Times, 5/9/17.
Va. climate protesters say Dominion gas pipeline requires “mountaintop removal”, Washington Post, 5/4/17.
Virginia pipeline opponents escalate as governor’s race heats up, Southeast Energy News, 5/3/17.
Dominion touts Atlantic Coast Pipeline progress, mountain construction concerns opponents, Nelson County Times, 4/27/17.
Dominion confident in pipeline approval, but opponents warn of dangers, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/27/17.
Virginia Supreme Court hears pipeline cases, Roanoke Times, 4/19/17; and Virginia Supreme Court takes first look at pipeline survey law through two appeals, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/19/17. [Regarding the oral arguments heard on April 19, 2017, by the Virginia Supreme Court in lawsuits by citizens over Virginia’s law allowing natural gas pipeline companies to survey private properties without landowner permission.]
A Brain-Frying Foray into the Regulatory Maze, Bacon’s Rebellion, 4/19/17 [discussing differences between “nationwide” and “individual” permits under the federal Clean Water Act, relating to potential stream/wetland impacts of the proposed natural gas pipelines].
Virginia gas pipeline project clears hurdle, Bay Journal, 4/17/17. [In April 2017, the U.S. Forest Service announced that it would allow a tunnel through the Blue Ridge in the George Washington National Forest for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, as an alternative to avoid impact on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail.]
Law firm disputes W.Va. water quality permit for pipeline, Roanoke Times, 4/11/17. Nelson rally tours areas affected by proposed pipeline, Lynchburg News & Advance, 4/9/17 [regarding a rally by Protect our Water, the Nelson County chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League].
DEQ will require additional individual 401 certifications for natural gas transmission pipeline projects, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality News Release, 4/6/17. Virginia pipelines will be subject to Department of Environment Quality water-quality review, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/6/17. DEQ to require pipeline projects to secure state water quality certification, Roanoke Times, 4/6/17. State adds more steps in pipelines’ environmental certifications, WINA Radio-Charlottesville, 4/6/17. With DEQ order, pipeline faces additional hurdles, Waynesboro News Virginian, 4/7/17. Pipeline opponents praise DEQ decision, WDBJ TV-Roanoke, 4/7/17. What’s Next for the Pipeline Controversies?, Bacon’s Rebellion, 4/14/17. [All regarding announcement on April 6, 2017, by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality that it will require individual permits for wetland and stream crossings that would occur with the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines.]
Hundreds of Comments Filed on Atlantic Coast Pipeline; Forest Service Okays Appalachian Trail Crossing, Natural Gas Intel, 4/7/17. [April 6 was the last day for filing comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, on the commission’s draft environmental impact statement on the proposed Mountain Valley pipeline.]
Leaders in three states ask for approval of Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Lynchburg News & Advance, as published by Charlottesville Daily Progress, 4/4/17 [regarding an April 3, 2017, letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, signed by 16 legislators from Virginia (including five General Assembly leaders), North Carolina, and West Virginia].
Laborers union sends letters to Kaine, Warner supporting Atlantic Coast Pipeline; Of 1,600 letters, more than 700 are from Virginia residents, Nelson County Times, 3/31/17 [regarding letters delivered on March 31, 2017, by the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Laborer’s International Union of America to the offices of Virginia U.S. senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner].
West Virginia OKs water permit for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 3/24/17. [On March 23, 2017, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection an Individual 401 Water Quality Certification (referring to Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act) for the West Virginia portion of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.]
Pipeline surveying nearly finished in Nelson [County, Va.], Nelson County Times, as published by Charlottesville Daily Progress, 3/22/17.
Testimony, correspondence, show friction between Dominion, U.S. Forest Service, over pipeline permitting, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/19/17.
Pipeline’s passage through the region would add sediment to Roanoke River watershed, Roanoke Times, 3/12/17.
Protesters to demonstrate outside pipeline hearing in Suffolk Thursday, Virginian-Pilot, 2/15/17.
Opponents urge outdoor board to reject easement request for Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/9/17.
In break with McAuliffe, Perriello announces opposition to Virginia pipeline projects, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/8/17; and Perriello comes out against pipeline, and in a shift, says he is skeptical of offshore drilling, Washington Post, 2/8/17 [regarding the position of former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Virginia governor in 2017].
Pipeline company granted access to survey 29 Nelson properties, Nelson County Times, 2/6/17. [On February 6, 2017, Nelson County Circuit Judge Michael Garrett ruled that Virginia law allows surveyors for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline to enter—without landowner permission—for surveying purposes the properties of 29 Nelson County landowners. The landowners had sued over the state law in 2016. Several other similar lawsuits in Nelson County were still pending as of 2/6/17.]
FERC delays release date for final environmental statement for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 1/31/17. [In late January 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) delay the release of the final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline. The release had been scheduled for March 10, 2017. FERC did not state a new scheduled date. FERC delayed the final EIS release date in order to request additional information from the company proposing the project.
Franklin County politician agrees to Mountain Valley Pipeline easement across family land, Roanoke Times, 1/31/17 [regarding granting of easement by Franklin County Board of Supervisors member Tommy Cundiff].
Unions rally at Capitol to tout Atlantic Coast Pipeline as good for American jobs, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/30/17. [Excerpt: “Labor unions made a show of solidarity outside the Virginia Capitol on Monday (January 30, 2017) for construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline as a boost to jobs for Virginia tradesmen and American industry. …Monday’s rally at the Capitol featured a wide range of trade unions in support of the project—electrical workers, welders, boilermakers, pipefitters, heavy equipment operators, and carpenters.”]
Pipeline’s impacts on Appalachian Trail raise concerns, Roanoke Times, 1/27/17. [Regarding the potential impacts of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline on the Appalachian Trail.]
Pipeline company’s surveying suit will advance, judge rules, Nelson County Times, 1/17/17. [Excerpt: “A Nelson County judge overruled a motion Tuesday [Jan. 17, 2017] from 35 Nelson landowners seeking to dismiss a surveying lawsuit from Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC.”]
Buckingham approves compressor station for Dominion pipeline over opposition from residents, Charlottesville Daily Progress, 1/6/17. [Excerpt: “After a five-hour public hearing Thursday night [Jan. 5, 2017], the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors voted to approve a controversial compressor station, part of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline project spearheaded by Dominion, over the objections of dozens of opponents.”]
Long-awaited draft environmental statement on Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline released, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/30/16. [Excerpt: “A long-awaited federal draft environmental impact statement issued Friday says Dominion’s proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline would have ‘some adverse and significant environmental impacts,’ though most would be reduced to ‘less-than-significant levels’ with mitigating measures proposed by the partners building the pipeline and recommendations by federal regulators.”]
State, feds call for improved pipeline environmental impact statement, Roanoke Times, 12/23/16. [Excerpt: “Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality [DEQ] cited federal law Thursday when adding its voice to many others calling for a more complete draft environmental impact statement [EIS] for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline. …DEQ advised the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that ‘a supplemental [draft statement] is needed to address adequate analysis of newly submitted route changes.’” According to this article, statements questioning the draft EIS were submitted also by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the U.S. Interior Department, and the federal Bureau of Land Management. The public comment period on the draft EIS for the Mountain Valley project ended December 22, 2016.]
EPA finds fault with environmental review of Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 12/21/16. [In comments on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s draft environmental impact statement [EIS] for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] asserted that the draft EIS is insufficient in several areas, that changes to the proposal during the review process make it difficult for people to review and comment, and that FERC should consider issuing a supplemental document.]
McAuliffe doubles down on pipeline support, hints at economic prospects, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/15/16. [On December 15, 2016, Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe reiterated his support of the proposed Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline.]
Westmoreland planners recommend strict regulation of fracking, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 12/5/16 [On December 5, 2016, the Westmoreland County, Va., Planning Commission “opted to recommend strict regulatory measures rather than prohibition of drilling for natural gas and oil altogether.” That recommendation now goes to the county’s board of supervisors, part of a group of proposed planning and zoning changes what the board is to consider in early 2017.]
As pipeline looms, historic Newport braces for change, Roanoke Times, 11/27/16 [on the potential route of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline through the Giles County, Va., town of Newport].
Rerouted pipeline spares Dinwiddie gem mine as property rights battle continues in courts, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/26/16 [on potential routes of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Dinwiddie County and Nelson County; plus information on the status of lawsuits—in the Virginia Supreme Court and in the U.S. Appeals Court for the 4th District (in Richmond)—over Virginia’s 2004 law giving natural gas companies the right to survey properties without landowner permission].
West Virginia Supreme Court sides with landowners in pipeline survey case, Roanoke Times, 11/16/16. [On November 15, the West Virginia Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling from August 2015 that Mountain Valley Pipeline surveyors did not have the right to enter property without landowner permission. The ruling does not, of course, apply under Virginia law. The Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to consider a case challenging Virginia’s law allowing surveying for the proposed pipeline without landowner permission.]
Pipeline opponents’ summit emphasizes resolve and unity in wake of Trump’s election, Roanoke Times, 11/12/16. [About 180 opponents of the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines gathered at Natural Bridge Hotel on November 12, 2016.]
Property rights at heart of anti-pipeline “revival” gathering in Nelson, Nelson County Times, 11/6/16.
WGL Midstream acquires larger stake in Mountain Valley Pipeline project, Roanoke Times, 11/3/16 [regarding acquisition by WGL Midstream, subsidiary of WGL Holdings, of additional three percent (now totaling 10 percent) in proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline joint venture, along with EQT Corp, NextEra Energy, and RGC Midstream (subsidiary of RGC Resources)].
Pipeline watchdogs slam analysis of proposed project’s environmental impacts, Roanoke Times, 11/3/16 [Nov. 3, 2016, public-comment meeting in Roanoke, Va. by FERC on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline draft Environmental Impact Statement.]
FERC session elicits criticism of pipeline environmental impact statement, Roanoke Times, 11/2/16 [Nov. 2, 2016, public-comment meeting in Rocky Mount, Va. by FERC on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline draft Environmental Impact Statement.]
Pipeline foes seek revised draft environmental impact statement for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 10/19/16
Franklin County votes against Mountain Valley Pipeline easement, Roanoke Times, 10/18/16. [The Franklin County, Va., Board of Supervisors voted on October 18, 2016, not to sell an easement in the county’s industrial park for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline before the pipeline project is approved.]
Roanoke Gas proposes tap in Montgomery County for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 10/17/16. [Roanoke Gas Company stated that it plans to tap into the proposed pipeline in Montgomery County and Franklin County, if the pipeline is built.]
Roanoke County police will not defy state law allowing pipeline surveying without permission, Roanoke Times, 10/17/16; and Pipeline surveying conflict heats up on Bent Mountain, Roanoke Times, 10/12/16. [Roanoke County, Va., police will no longer request surveying crews to leave private property if the crews show evidence that they have followed state law for notifying property owners].
SELC Files New Motion Over Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, NBC TV Charlottesville, 10/13/16 [regarding October 13, 2016, motion filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by Southern Environmental Law Center to deny Dominion’s proposed route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
23 arrested outside Gov. McAuliffe’s mansion during protest, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/5/16; and Three-day picket [in Richmond] takes aim at McAuliffe’s record on pipelines, coal ash [and rising sea levels], Roanoke Times, 10/3/16. [October 3-5, 2016, protests in Richmond over proposed natural gas pipelines, coal ash disposal, and sea-level rise.]
McAuliffe says he lacks authority to stop Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/28/16.
Widow’s appeal of Atlantic Coast Pipeline survey to test property rights amendment before state’s highest court, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/21/16
Three-day picket [in Richmond] takes aim at McAuliffe’s record on pipelines, coal ash [and rising sea levels], Roanoke Times, 10/3/16.
FERC draft report calls pipeline’s potential impact ‘limited,’ Roanoke Times, 9/16/16.
State agency recommends routing Mountain Valley Pipeline to avoid karst in Montgomery County, Roanoke Times, 9/15/16
In-service date delayed on Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, Roanoke Times, 9/8/16. [On Sep. 8, 2016, Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell said early 2019—moved back from late 2018—is now the company’s target date for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to go into service, if the project receives approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.]
Forest Service wants re-evaluation of pipeline stream crossings, Waynesboro News Virginian, as published by Roanoke Times, 9/2/16 [regarding roads in Augusta and Bath counties for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
King George adopts strict regulations regarding fracking, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 8/16/16. [On August 16, 2016, the King George Board of Supervisors passed a zoning ordinance amendment—in development and under consideration since 2015 prohibiting natural gas drilling within 750 feet of resource protected areas (such as waterways), roads, buildings, and schools. The ordinance leaves about nine percent of the county available for potential gas drilling.]
Counties ask FERC to delay draft environmental impact statement for pipeline, Roanoke Times, 8/11/16. [Roanoke, Giles, and Craig counties—all in the path of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline—have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to delay issuing a draft environmental impact statement, which is scheduled for release in September 2016.]
Legislators seek increase in pipeline-related public meetings, Roanoke Times, 8/10/16. [In an August 8, 2016, letter, U.S. Representatives from Virginia Morgan Griffith, Robert Goodlatte, and Robert Hurt asked FERC to “hold multiple meetings in communities in Virginia” when the agency conducts its public-comment period on the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline. FERC is expected to release the draft document in September 2016.]
Protesters march to Executive Mansion to protest pipelines, energy policy, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/23/16 [July 23, 2016, march of “hundreds” of people in Richmond from James River to the governor’s mansion to protect proposed natural gas pipelines].
Residents challenge DEQ to ‘step up’ to scrutinize pipeline projects, Roanoke Times, 7/18/16 [meeting of two Va. DEQ officials and residents of Roanoke area regarding concerns over potential impacts of proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines].
FERC issues schedule for environmental review for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 6/28/16. [On June 28, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, announced that the environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline is expected in March 2017, with a draft statement expected by September 2016. FERC would then have 90 days to make a decision.]
Virginia Tech plans greater use of natural gas, Roanoke Times, 6/19/16. [Lower natural gas prices and a carbon-emissions-reduction goal were the reasons cited when Virginia Tech announced in mid-June 2016 that it plans by 2020 to stop burning coal for steam heat and electricity at its main campus in Blacksburg, instead burning only natural gas].
New coalition targets McAuliffe energy policies as pipeline fights draw national interest, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/15/16; Environmental groups protest McAuliffe’s energy policies, Roanoke Times, 6/15/16; Environmental alliance challenges McAuliffe on energy policy, Charlottesville Daily Progress, 6/15/16 [all regarding a June 15, 2016, news conference by a coalition of over 50 groups who criticized Gov. McAuliffe for his support of proposed natural gas pipelines].
Students’ support helps re-energize pipeline opponents, Roanoke Times, 6/2/16 [regarding Virginia college students May 2016 trip to interview residents along the route of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline].
VA, Dominion agree to extra pipeline construction oversight, Bay Journal, 5/30/16. DEQ: Proposed pipelines must meet environmental standards, Associated Press, as published by WTOP Washington, 5/26/16; and State DEQ tells pipelines to expect project specific environmental standards, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/24/16 [regarding erosion and sediment control for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline; in May, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality informed pipeline project developers that they will be required to file project-specific erosion/sedimentation control plans, maintain inspection logs, and cover the DEQ’s costs for reviewing the plans for compliance].
Justifiable Jitters or Unwarranted Worry?, Bacon’s Rebellion, 5/26/16 [regarding concerns about the potential for incidents along the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline; a detailed article with substantial background information on pipeline construction and safety issues.]
Study backed by Mountain Valley Pipeline opponents suggests negative economic impacts for region, Roanoke Times, 5/18/16. [Regarding “The Economic Costs of the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” prepared by Key-Log Economics (based in Charlottesville) for opponents of the propose Mountain Valley Pipeline. The study is available online at http://keylogeconomics.com/wp1/projectsandpublications/mvpcosts/.]
Officials vow VA will protect watershed if pipeline goes ahead, Bay Journal, 5/16/16 [regarding statements by Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward and by Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Spokesman Bill Hayden on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Debate over overbuilding raises questions about pipeline projects, Roanoke Times, 5/15/16 [regarding debate about whether more natural gas infrastructure is needed and whether or not the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should make a cumulative assessment of proposed project, which it does not do currently].
DPMC to seek court order providing access to pipeline documents, Augusta Free Press, 5/7/16. [Excerpt: “Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition (DPMC) sent a Petition for Writ of Mandamus and Injunctive Relief to Angela Navarro, Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, and David Paylor, Director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on Thursday [May 5, 2016] to compel the state to provide information about regulatory reviews of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) proposals.”]
New public comment period opened on changes to Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/3/16. [Regarding FERC’s notice issued on May 3, 2016, that it will re-open the “scoping” period to receive comments on the proposed route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion, who’s leading the effort to build the pipeline, made changes in February to the proposed and other aspects of the project, in part in response to comments from the U.S. Forest Service. FERC is collecting comments on the proposed changes to incorporate into the environmental impact statement that the federal agency is preparing. As part of this renewed scoping process, FERC will hold public hearings on May 20 in Marlinton, W.Va., and May 21 in Hot Springs, Va. See also Fire on the mountain: Rural residents battle pipeline, Capital News Service, as published by WRIC-TV Richmond, 5/2/16, regarding opposition to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in parts of Bath and Highland counties affected by changes to the proposed route.]
Atlantic Coast Pipeline anticipates delay in construction start, Roanoke Times, 4/28/16. [Dominion Resources and Duke Energy, partners on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, stated in late April 2016 that the expected start of construction on the project—pending permit approvals—is summer 2017, later than the originally anticipated fall 2016 start date. Organizers of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline project still anticipate a December 2016 construction start date, again pending permit approvals.]
Atlantic Coast Pipeline opponents question need for project, Waynesboro News Virginian, as published by Roanoke Times, 4/23/16. [About 150 opponents of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline project met in Weyers Cave (Augusta County) on April 23, 2016.]
“Keystone killer” rallies opponents to Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 4/21/16. [Nebraskan Jane Kleeb, who led opposition to the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the Midwest, met in Franklin County in mid-April 2016 with opponents of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.]
Forest Service signs off on pipeline surveys, Waynesboro News Virginian, 4/14/16. (“On Thursday [April 14, 2016] forest supervisors announced they had issued temporary special-use permits for surveys of the most recently planned route [of the proposed Atlantic Coast pipeline], both in the George Washington and Monongahela national forests.”)
Environmental Group Urging Dominion to Nix Pipeline Projects, NBC29 TV-Richmond, 4/10/16 [regarding Virginia Sierra Club urging Dominion Virginia Power to forego natural gas pipeline projects in favor of offshore wind and other renewable-energy projects].
Conservation groups cite new roadblock for Dominion [Atlantic Coast] Pipeline, Staunton News Leader, 4/7/16. [In a March 30, 2016, letter to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality on Dominion Virginia Power’s application for an air-emissions permit for its proposed new gas-fired power plant in Greensville, Va., Appalachian Voices and the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club asserted that the company should have to assess the combined air-emissions impacts of the proposed plant along with the company’s proposed Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline.]
A question of effect: Pipelines vs. mortgages, property values, insurance, Roanoke Times, 4/3/16 [Long, detailed article on the issue of whether/how the possibility or reality of a natural gas pipeline easement or lease affects property values, insurance, or mortgages.]
Purchase agreements in place for Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Associated Press, as published by Roanoke Times, 3/22/16; Dominion touts progress on Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Daily Press, 3/22/16; and Dominion prepares for pipeline construction, but review of new route still pending, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/22/16 [These are accounts of a media conference call by Dominion on March 22, 2016. According to the Associated Press account, Dominion presented the following information on the status of the proposed project: “Purchase agreements are in place for 96 percent of the pipeline’s capacity; …in the past 18 months, 450 miles of the pipeline’s route have been surveyed; Dominion evaluated more than 6,000 miles along the project’s path before settling on the final proposed route; more than 90 percent of the 2,800 landowners along the pipeline’s path have allowed survey teams on their land and 500 have signed easements; a mill in Pennsylvania will begin the manufacture in a few weeks of steel pipe for the project under a $400 million contract; [and] the pipeline has an in-service date of late 2018.”]
Hampton Roads legislative caucus backs Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/16/16.
Mountain Valley Pipeline gets court orders affirming right to survey without owner’s permission, Roanoke Times, 3/8/16; and Pipeline foes argue property rights at Va. Supreme Court, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/16/16 [lawsuit by Giles County residents regarding the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline and challenging Virginia’s law allowing pipeline companies to survey private property without landowner permission; arguments to take the case heard by Virginia Supreme Court on 2/15/16; Supreme Court refused to accept the case on 3/7/16].
Pipeline opponents issue study showing high costs to region from project, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/16/16.
Clash of Competing Values, Bacon’s Rebellion, 1/20/16 [Detailed article on process of, and concerns about, the routes of Dominion Virginia Power’s proposed Surry-Skiffes Creek transmission line over the James River near Jamestown, and of the company’s proposed Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline.]
Activists Lobby Against Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, WVIR TV Charlottesville, 1/19/16 (legislation in 2016 Virginia General Assembly).
Pipeline foes rally for repeal of surveying law, but face uphill fight, Roanoke Times, 1/19/16 (legislation in 2016 Virginia General Assembly).
Pipeline project subject of public hearing Tuesday, Franklin News-Post, 1/18/16 [public hearing by Franklin County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 19, 2016, on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline].
Lawmakers seek to scrap law on pipeline, property rights; the law allows companies to conduct surveys as long as they give advance notice, Roanoke Times, 1/13/16 (legislation in 2016 Virginia General Assembly).
Pipeline project watchdogs anticipate arrival of compressor station, Roanoke Times, 1/6/15 [regarding the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline and questions about the eventual number of compressor stations].
FERC wants more details about proposed natural gas pipeline tap in Franklin County, Roanoke Times, 1/2/16 [regarding the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline].
Firm presents pipeline analysis to Nelson supervisors; Dominion disputes, Lynchburg News & Advance, 12/21/15. [On December 8, 2015, Key-Log Economics, LLC, presented to the Nelson County Board of Supervisors he results of the consulting firm’s economic analysis of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Key-Log was hired to do the analysis by Friends of Nelson, a group that opposes the pipeline.]
Town asks for protection from DEQ regarding pipeline construction, Franklin News-Post, 12/16/15. [Regarding the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline: On Dec. 14, 2015, the Rocky Mount Town Council voted to request that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to require site-specific erosion and sediment control plans for natural gas pipeline pipeline construction.]
FERC chairman rejects overarching review of pipeline projects, Roanoke Times, 12/9/15 [regarding Nov. 25, 2015, notification by FERC Chairman Norman Bay that FERC had determined it would not prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement, or EIS, for the Mountain Valley Pipeline that would consider other proposed interstate natural gas pipelines that would cross parts of Virginia and West Virginia].
Pipeline opponents cite contamination of drinking water supply as cautionary tale, Roanoke Times, 12/3/15 [regarding a July 2015 contamination of a spring serving public-water customers in Peterstown, West Virginia, and allegations that the contamination was caused by a fuel spill found in the right-of-way for an existing Columbia Gas of Virginia natural gas pipeline; Columbia denies that the spill along its right-of-way caused the contamination].
Groups seek a say with US regulators on two-state pipeline, Associated Press, as published by Pennsylvania Business Central, 12/4/15.
Environmentalists Seek Voice in Virginia Pipeline Project, Delmarva Public Radio-Salisbury, Md., 12/2/15.
King George’s fracking comments to be finalized for draft of state regulations, King George Journal Press, 11/24/15.
Watch group files complaint over Columbia gas pipeline project, Staunton News Leader, 11/12/15 [regarding complaint filed on Nov. 11, 2015, with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition alleging that a local water supply was affected by diesel fuel from construction of a gas pipeline in Giles County].
Roanoke County moves to establish legal standing in pipeline cases, Roanoke Times, 11/10/15 [on 11/10/15, the county board of supervisors voted to seek legal standing as an “intervenor” in legal proceedings connected to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s consideration of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline].
Two natural gas pipeline plans opposed in Virginia, Associated Press, as published by Staunton News Leader, 11/9/15 [Associated Press overview of issues around natural gas pipelines, focusing on two proposed in Virginia, the Mountain Valley Pipeline and Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
USFS accuses pipeline of misrepresentation in surveys, Charlottesville Daily Progress, 11/6/15 [regarding allegation filed by the U.S. Forest Service on 11/5/15 that Dominion did not follow proper protocols in their employment of contractors to do soil surveys on the proposed route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Governor’s office to coordinate state agency comments about pipeline projects, Roanoke Times, 11/3/15.
Dominion to run pipeline through mountain to avoid rare salamander, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/30/15 [regarding Dominion’s proposed route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and the potential to affect habitat of the Cow Knob Salamander in the George Washington National Forest in Augusta and Highland counties. The company is proposing to drill under Shenandoah Mountain, the ridge on the border of August and Highland counties, which is part of the salamander’s habitat area. According to this article, other proposed route shifts would “move the project away from the habitat of another rare creature, the Cheat Mountain salamander in West Virginia; move the line away from a wetland project and a proposed historic district in Nelson and Buckingham counties in Virginia but slightly closer to the Yogaville community; and move the line slightly north in southeastern Virginia to avoid the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.”]
Combine 4 pipeline projects into single environmental review, coalition asks, Roanoke Times, 10/26/15 [regarding the assertion by a coalition of 30 groups that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is required by law to conduct one comprehensive environmental-impact review for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, WB Xpress, and Appalachian Connector].
Karst landscapes bring challenges, concerns for pipeline projects; Areas with sinkholes, springs and caves may be vulnerable to problems – Roanoke Times, 10/25/15 [regarding the occurrence of karst terrain in several Virginia and West Virginia counties on the proposed route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. See also the “Frequently Asked Questions” document prepared by the Virginia Cave Board, online as PDF at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/document/faq-nat-gas-trans-pipelines-karst.pdf.]
Franklin County adds its voice to resolutions seeking state role in Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 10/20/15 [resolution passed by Franklin County Board of Supervisors on 10/20/15 requesting that Va. Gov. McAuliffe ensures the DEQ has the necessary resources to address environmental aspects of the project’s construction; that the DEQ require site-specific erosion and sediment control and storm water management plans; and that Mountain Valley Pipeline officials and third-party inspectors meet with local officials to discuss how the plans will be implemented. The county boards in Craig, Giles, Montgomery, and Roanoke counties passed similar resolutions.]
Worried about pipeline-related erosion and sediment; counties seek DEQ involvement, Roanoke Times, 10/14/15 [this article has good details on the water-related issues of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline].
Salamander found nowhere else in the world lies in path of proposed pipeline, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/12/15 [regarding the current route proposed for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline crossing areas of occurrence of the Cow Knob Salamander in the George Washington National Forest in Augusta and Highland counties].
Mountain Valley Pipeline’s economic benefits study flawed, opponents say, Roanoke Times, 10/6/15 [regarding a study released in December 2014; see related Joint venture cites economic benefits of Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 12/11/14].
U.S. Forest Service approves permit for Mountain Valley Pipeline surveying, Roanoke Times, 10/2/15 [regarding Mountain Valley LLC’s request for a permit to survey in the Jefferson National Forest in Giles and Montgomery counties, Va.].
Franklin County landowners sued by Mountain Valley Pipeline contemplate options, Roanoke Times, 9/22/15.
Dominion says no ‘easy fixes’ remain to transport natural gas, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/19/15. [This is a detailed feature article examining current natural gas pipeline proposals in the Mid-Atlantic area and the gas-development increases in the Marcellus and Utica formations that have led to the pipeline proposals.]
Pipeline company files formal application with FERC, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/18/15. [On September 18, 2015, Dominion filed its formal application to FERC for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.]
Franklin County supervisors inch closer to resolution on Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 9/15/15.
Franklin County supervisors hold private discussions with pipeline representatives, Roanoke Times, 9/9/15 [regarding concerns over erosion/sediment control for proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline].
King George supervisors defer vote on fracking ordinance, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 9/2/15 [regarding proposed local ordinance in King George County, Va., requiring a special permit for any gas or oil drilling].
Dominion purchases land for natural gas compressor station site in Buckingham [County], Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/26/15 [regarding proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Forest Service seeks public comment about pipeline surveying; the alternative route would cross parts of Jefferson National Forest in two counties – Roanoke Times, 8/25/15 [regarding surveying of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline’s “Alternative 200” route through the National Forest in Giles and Montgomery counties].
Mountain Valley Pipeline may use controversial surveying law, judge rules; A judge said Giles County landowners could not exclude natural gas pipeline surveyors if proper notice was given – Roanoke Times, 8/24/15 [regarding 8/24/15 ruling by Virginia Circuit Court Judge Robert Turk that Giles County property owners may not deny access to surveyors for a proposed natural gas line—in this case, the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline—if the surveyors have given proper notice according to Sec. 56-49.01 in the Virginia Code].
Confusion over land access continues as pipeline surveyors charged with trespassing, Roanoke Times, 8/13/15; and Pipeline surveyors charged with trespassing, Charlottesville Daily Progress, 8/13/15.
Pipeline case in West Virginia kindles hope in local [Nelson County, Va.] opposition, Nelson County Times, 8/12/15 [regarding 8/5/15 ruling by Monroe County, West Va., Circuit Court Judge Robert Irons that surveyors for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline may not enter the property if landowners have denied access; and this case’s possible implications for a similar lawsuit in Nelson County].
No resolution in pipeline lawsuit after Tuesday court hearing, Lynchburg News & Advance, 8/4/15 [regarding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and a lawsuit by some Nelson County residents over Virginia law allowing natural gas companies to do surveys without landowner permission].
Natural gas pipeline discussion considers combining routes—Combining the routes has been suggested, and FERC might push that solution, Roanoke Times, 7/29/15. [A draft environmental impact statement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline is expected to include an analysis of having only one pipeline route for the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline an alternative. On July 28, 2015, Va. U.S. Senator Tim Kaine wrote to FERC recommending an analysis that considers together the need for, and potential impacts of, the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast projects along with two other proposed interstate pipeline projects that would cross Virginia.]
Pipeline Construction: What it Means for Water Supply, WVTF-FM (Roanoke/Blacksburg), 7/23/15 [regarding use of water wells in rural areas where the proposed pipelines would travel, and potential impacts from pipeline construction].
State Water Commission Reviews Proposed Fracking Rules, NBC 12 TV-Richmond, 7/22/15.
2 men surveying land for pipeline plead no contest to charges, Roanoke Times, 7/21/15 [regarding trespassing charges brought in Craig County against two men contracted to do survey work on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline].
Franklin County News: Pipeline Concerns Heard (scroll down the landing page to see this item), Roanoke Times, 7/21/15 [regarding a request by Preserve Franklin at the July 21, 2015, meeting of the Franklin County Board of Supervisors that the Board adopt a resolution calling upon the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to public the erosion/sediment control plans by developers of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline].
Pipeline becoming part of General Assembly candidates’ campaigns, Lynchburg News & Advance, 7/20/15 [regarding particularly candidates’ positions on Virginia law on eminent domain and on disclosure of records of companies seeking to use eminent domain powers, as well as on the specific Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipeline proposals].
Another new path sought for pipeline in Nelson, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/18/15. [In comments filed on July 14, 2015, and announced on July 15, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff instructed Dominion Transmission, Inc., to seek an alternative route that would avoid the Norwood-Wingina Rural Historic District in Nelson County and the James River Wildlife Management Area. That request was one of over 200 raised by FERC regulatory staff that Dominion must respond to, including a plan to minimize impacts to karst topography in Augusta County. Dominion had previously adopted an alternative that avoided the Wingina area but not the wildlife management area.
McAuliffe rebuffs anti-pipeline protests in Southwest Virginia, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/17/15 [Va. governor reiterated his support for proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline during visit to Roanoke on July 17, 2015.]
Franklin County family fights pipeline to preserve life on farm, Roanoke Times, 7/6/15 [regarding the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline].
Pipeline survey lawsuits transferred to new federal judge, new hearing likely, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/1/15. [This regards two lawsuits—one by four Nelson County residents and one by an Augusta County resident—challenging the constitutionality of Virginia’s law allowing natural gas pipeline developers to survey a property without landowner permission. Augusta and Nelson counties are on the current projected path of Dominion Virginia Power’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.]
Questions remain in pipeline review process, Waynesboro News Virginian, 6/28/15 [regarding erosion and sediment control issues for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
FERC chairman nixes extension of Mountain Valley Pipeline comment period, Roanoke Times, 6/22/15. [This regards various requests by citizens and elected officials for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, to lengthen the public-comment period—also called public “scoping” period—on the issues to be considered in the upcoming environmental-impact study. FERC maintained the original deadline of June 16, 2015.]
Idea of natural gas compressor station worries possible neighbors, Roanoke Times, 6/21/15 [regarding four expected compressor stations for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline; 3 in West Virginia, 1 in Virginia].
Pipeline company communication gaffe provokes Giles County lawsuit, Roanoke Times, 6/17/15 [regarding proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline and procedures for notifying landowners prior to surveying].
Rhetoric rises in Dominion pipeline fight; Both Dominion Supporters [and] Appalachia Landowners Try To Win Public Relations Battle Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 6/17/15 [regarding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Pipeline protesters hold rally at government center, Franklin News-Post, 6/17/15 [protest of proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, held at Franklin County, Va., government center on 6/16/15].
Franklin County supervisors seek more public comment for pipeline issue, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 6/16/15 [Board of Supervisors agreed on 6/16/15 to request that FERC lengthen the public-comment period on the issues to be considered in the upcoming environmental-impact study].
Industry poll finds support for Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 6/11/15 [Consumer Energy Alliance poll of 500 voters in June 2015].
EPA Releases Draft Assessment on Potential Impacts to Drinking Water Resources from Fracking, Water & Wastes Digest, 6/5/15.
Pipeline company take landowners to court over access, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/3/15 [regarding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Virginia panel recommends new fracking rules, Associated Press, as published by Washington Times, 6/2/15.
Nelson [County, Va.,] supervisors talk floodplain permitting issues for pipeline, Lynchburg News & Advance, 6/1/15 [regarding proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
King George officials debate a fracking ban after attorney general’s ruling, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 5/24/15. [Regarding May 8, 2015, formal opinion from Va. Attorney General Mark Herring that the Virginia Code allows localities to prohibit hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” for natural gas, contrasting with an opinion issued in 2013 by then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The opinion is available online (as PDF) at http://www.oag.state.va.us/files/14-084_Stuart.pdf.]
Roanoke County seeks extended public comment period for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 5/21/15. [Regarding requests that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission extend, beyond June 16, 2015, the public-comment period preceding its preparation of an environmental impact statement on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.]
Dominion’s 5,000 Page FERC Response, Staunton News Leader, 5/21/15; and Pipeline builders list possible safeguards, Waynesboro News Virginian, 5/14/15. [On Dominion’s filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, of a 100-page “response document” on May 12 (online at https://www.dom.com/library/domcom/pdfs/gas-transmission/atlantic-coast-pipeline/acp-responses-to-issues-051215.pdf) and then accompanying detailed reports on May 19 (online at https://www.dom.com/corporate/what-we-do/atlantic-coast-pipeline/ferc-filings-and-information), all on environmental-protection measures the company would take if it builds the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion’s filings followed some 28,000 public comments submitted to FERC during its 60-day public-comment process, which ended April 30, 2015, preceding a required environmental impact statement (EIS) from FERC. The EIS is expected in early 2016.]
Group focused on protecting water from pipeline, Recorder [Monterey, Va.], May 2015. [Detailed article on how Virginia’s erosion/sediment-control law would be applied to, and enforced for, the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.]
Proposed gas line route changed in Augusta, Nelson counties, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/18/15. [May 18, 2015, announcement by Dominion that the route for its proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline now would avoid crossing National Park Service property, in favor of crossing national forest land.]
Attorney General: Localities can ban fracking, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 5/9/15. [Regarding May 8, 2015, formal opinion from Va. Attorney General Mark Herring that the Virginia Code allows localities to prohibit hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” for natural gas, contrasting with an opinion issued in 2013 by then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The opinion is available online (as PDF) at http://www.oag.state.va.us/files/14-084_Stuart.pdf.]
Dominion shareholders pepper CEO with questions about the proposed natural gas pipeline, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/6/15 [regarding proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
FERC meeting: Residents urge against Mountain Valley Pipeline over environmental concerns, Roanoke Times, 5/5/15. [Account of May 5, 2015, FERC scoping meeting in Elliston (Montgomery County).
FERC holds pipeline meeting in Monroe County, WVNS, Ghent, W. Va., 5/11/15. [Account of May 4, 2015, FERC scoping meeting in Monroe County, W. Va.]
Center of the state – Buckingham in middle of pipeline debate, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/2/15. [Detailed article on views in Buckingham County, Va., of the propose Atlantic Coast Pipeline.]
Pipeline politics: Virginia’s Keystone?, Politico, 5/3/15. [Feature article on proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline by nationally focused media source, particularly on the role of politics and Dominion Virginia Power’s political influence.]
ACP: Pipeline construction presents challenges, Waynesboro News-Virginian, as published by Charlottesville Daily Progress, 5/3/15; ACP: Gas flows from shale to pipeline, Waynesboro News-Virginian, as published by Charlottesville Daily Progress, 5/3/15; and ACP: Dominion puts price tag on pipeline connections, Waynesboro News-Virginian, as published by Charlottesville Daily Progress, 5/3/15. [Series of three detailed articles on proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The first in the list focused on the karst terrain and mountainous landscape and environments through which the proposed pipeline would go; the second focused on the practice of getting the natural gas that it would carry from the Marcellus shale formation under West Virginia; and the third on whether or not Virginia businesses along its route will be able to use the gas.]
McAuliffe says pipeline must protect the environment, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/30/15. [Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe comment on 4/30/15 radio call-in show regarding proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.]
Nelson’s small, rural communities fear consequences of pipeline, Nelson County Times, as published by Lynchburg News & Advance, 4/30/15 [proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Proposed pipeline faces new questions as federal comment period closes, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/29/15. [April 30, 2015, close of 60-day public-comment period for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, prior to the Commission undertaking an environmental impact statement.]
Roanoke County to make pipeline recommendations to FERC, Roanoke Times, 4/28/15. [The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution on 4/28/15 to ask FERC to hold a public “scoping” meeting in that county and to extend to public-comment period on FERC’s 4/17/15 Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline; the period is scheduled to end on 6/16/15. The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors also plans to consider a resolution requesting a comment-period extension.]
Forest Service OKs pipeline surveying in Jefferson National Forest, Roanoke Times, 4/28/15. [On 4/28/15, the U.S. Forest Service announced that it will grant a permit for proposed-route surveying for the Mountain Valley Pipeline to take place in the Jefferson National Forest in Monroe County, W. Va., and the Virginia counties of Craig, Giles, Montgomery, and Roanoke. In March 2015, the Forest Service granted a permit for such surveying for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in the George Washington National Forest.]
Realtor group to monitor pipeline company’s property moves, Charlottesville Daily Progress, as published by Roanoke Times, 4/21/15. [Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors stated its intention to monitor property rights aspects of Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.]
Energy commission schedules scoping meetings for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 4/17/15 [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, public meetings about the agency’s April 17, 2015, “Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement” on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline. Six meetings will be held, including one in Montgomery County on May 5 and one in Pittsylvania County on May 7; the other four are in West Virginia. Access to the FERC notice is available at this link.]
Pipeline opponents bring advertising battle to Richmond, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/14/15 [Apr. 14, 2015, start of advertising campaign in Richmond and other major Virginia media markets by group opposing Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Craig County cranks up the heat on pipeline company, Roanoke Times, 4/7/15 [letter from Craig County officials on 4/2/15 opposing routing of proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline through the county].
Opponents of Atlantic Coast gas pipeline to press McAuliffe, Associated Press, as published by Virginian-Pilot, 4/7/15 [some 5000 anti-pipeline signatures delivered to Gov. Terry McCauliffe on 4/7/15].
Dominion to withdraw lawsuits against landowners over pipeline surveys – and start over, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/7/15 [regarding lawsuits access to private property for surveys for proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, ruled invalid because of improper notification process; lawsuits to be re-filed following proper notification procedures].
Celanese plant in Giles County completes conversion to boilers fueled by natural gas, Roanoke Times, 4/7/15.
Craig County crowd registers clear opposition to Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 3/19/15.
Nelson supervisors ask Dominion to minimize eminent domain, Nelson County Times, 3/18/15. [A resolution passed 3-2 by the Nelson County Board of Supervisors on March 17, 2015, requests Dominion and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to consider alternative routes for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline that would make more use of existing rights-of-way and reduce use of private land through eminent domain.]
FERC meets with residents to hear comments on Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, Lynchburg News & Advance, 3/18/15. [Officials from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, visited Nelson County on Mar. 18, 2015.]
Forest Service OKs survey of George Washington National Forest for gas pipeline, Richmond Times-Dispatch, as published by Roanoke Times, 3/17/15; and Forest Service extends comment period tied to pipeline surveying, Roanoke Times, 3/13/15. [On 3/17/15, the U.S. Forest Service announced approval of Dominion’s survey request for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline that would cross George Washington National Forest land in Augusta and Highland counties. On March 14, the Forest Service announced that it would extend until April 2 the public-comment period for the the surveying request for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, which as currently proposed would cross Jefferson National Forest land in Giles and Montgomery counties].
Alternative pipeline routes create new heartaches in Nelson County, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/15/15. [This article provides detailed information on various areas in Nelson County that were shown on alternative routes that have been proposed for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.]
Roanoke County appoints committee to monitor pipeline activity, Roanoke Times, 3/10/15 [regarding the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline].
Nelson County residents attend meeting on alternative pipeline routes, Nelson County Times, 3/10/15 [regarding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline; the article includes a map showing currently-proposed alternative routes through Nelson County].
Pipeline forum focuses on limiting risk to people, nature, Roanoke Times, 3/9/15 [report on gas-pipeline forum held by Cabell Brand Center in Roanoke on Mar. 9, 2015].
FERC Begins Environmental Impact Study of Natural Gas Pipeline Plan, WVIR-TV Charlottesville, 2/2815.
Opposition to pipeline organizes in Craig County, Roanoke Times, 3/3/15.
Environmental study shows potential risk for pipeline construction, Waynesboro News Virginian, 2/25/15.
Roanoke County forms pipeline advisory committee, Roanoke Times, 2/24/15.
Dominion proposes alternative routes for pipeline in Va., Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/23/15 [regarding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Montgomery County supervisors quiz Mountain Valley Pipeline representatives, Roanoke Times, 2/23/15.
Pipeline route alternatives praised and panned, Roanoke Times, 2/19/15. [On Feb. 18, 2015, several Mountain Valley Pipeline alternative routes were submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).]
Mountain Valley Pipeline opponents push to have a local say at Floyd protest, Roanoke Times, 2/12/15.
New study claims $377 million in annual energy savings from proposed pipeline, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/11/15 [Atlantic Coast Pipeline study by ICF International, commissioned by Dominion Transmission, Inc.].
Pipeline to closely skirt giant Henrico reservoir, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/8/15. [This article is regarding the existing Colonial Pipeline].
Arguments begin on Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Dominion property surveyors in Harrisonburg court/Several Nelson County residents say a utility doesn’t have the right to enter their property, Waynesboro News Virginian, as published by Roanoke Times, 2/5/15. [The lawsuit by Nelson County residents against Dominion Resources was filed in September 2014 in U.S. District Court.]
Mountain Valley Pipeline considers alternative routes, Roanoke Times, 2/2/15. [This article includes a Virginia map showing the current approximate route of three proposed natural gas pipelines: Appalachian Connector, Atlantic Coast, and Mountain Valley.]
“Historical Hydraulic Fracturing Trends and Data Unveiled in New USGS Publications,” U.S. Geological Survey News Release, 1/27/15.
NTSB Releases Study To Better Manage Gas Pipeline Integrity, National Transportation Safety Board News Release, 1/27/15; and NTSB: Systemic flaws in safety oversight of gas pipelines, Associated Press, 1/27/15. [On January 27, 2015, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) adopted a safety study, with 30 recommendations, on “integrity management” of gas-transmission pipelines in “high consequence areas.” According to the NTSB news release on the study, “integrity management is the process by which pipeline operators and inspectors find and address potential problems before they result in accidents.” “High consequence areas’ are those “where an accident could cause the most damage and loss of lives.”]
Pipelines prompt discussion of property rights law, Roanoke Times, 1/21/15 [regarding bills in 2015 Virginia General Assembly on the 2004 Virginia state law—SB 663 in that session—allowing natural gas companies access to private property for surveying and other purposes, even without landowner permission].
[Proposed Mountain Valley] Pipeline could offer Franklin County access to natural gas, if demand is high, Roanoke Times, 1/20/15.
King George decides to control fracking through strict zoning ordinance, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 1/21/15.
Dominion Resources to drop lawsuits against 14 Nelson County landowners [regarding proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline], Nelson County Times, 1/19/15.
Dominion weaves pipeline path through history in Nelson County, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/17/15 [regarding proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Group [from Nelson County] travels to Washington to discuss [Atlantic Coast] pipeline [with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC], Nelson County Times, 1/15/15.
Second open house held for pipeline project in Nelson County, Nelson County Times, 1/14/15 [Jan. 14, 2015, “open house” on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Property rights emerge as powerful issue in pipeline’s path, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/3/15; and Gas pipeline faces mountain of opposition in western Virginia, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/3/15. [Both articles focus on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and central Virginia, but they also include information on all three current gas-pipeline proposals in Virginia.]
White House NEPA guidance could trigger change at FERC, Greenwire, 12/19/14. [As proposed, draft guidance released by the White House Council on Environmental Quality on 12/18/14 could affect the scope of potential climate-change effects that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must consider in assessing proposed energy projects, such as gas-transmission pipelines or liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping terminals.]
Dominion Virginia Power’s Warren County power plant producing electricity, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/11/14. [The 1329-megawatt-capacity Warren County Power Station is fueled by natural gas.]
Several articles regarding a series of “open houses” on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline scheduled by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, in December 2014 and January 2015: Giles County residents quiz Mountain Valley Pipeline about water, Roanoke Times, 1/12/15; Debate over pipeline continues, Roanoke Times, 12/20/14; Salem pipeline open house an example of conviction, unity of opponents, Roanoke Times, 12/18/14; and Mountain Valley Pipeline to begin series of open houses this week, Roanoke Times, 12/15/14.
How to stop a pipeline, Roanoke Times, 12/15/14. [News Grouper note: This is an opinion piece. Opinion pieces normally are not included in this list of articles, but this one is included because it provides information on how the energy market will be a consideration in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision on proposed natural gas pipelines].
Property rights outweigh pipelines, Virginian-Pilot, 12/14/14. [News Grouper note: This is an opinion piece. Opinion pieces normally are not included in this list of articles, but this one is included because it provides information on information on the eminent domain process that could be employed if proposed natural gas pipelines are approved].
Alternative pipeline route would bypass Nelson County, Lynchburg News & Advance, 12/15/14 [alternative route for Atlantic Coast Pipeline submitted by Dominion to FERC on 12/12/14].
Pipeline: Feds taking comment on request to survey in national forest, Lynchburg News & Advance, 12/12/14 [U.S. Forest Service accepting public comment until 1/9/15 on request by Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC to survey National Forest land in Augusta and Highland counties].
Joint venture cites economic benefits of Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 12/11/14 [economic-impact report by FTI Consulting, hired by Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC].
Pipeline raises water concerns; Dominion says it will protect waterways, Nelson County Times, 12/10/14 [concerns being expressed by Nelson County residents].
Roanoke Co. supervisors oppose [Mountain Valley] natural gas pipeline, Roanoke Times, 12/9/14.
Mountain Valley Pipeline eyes Roanoke County as site for compressor station, Roanoke Times, 12/8/14.
Localities have a say in fracking, experts say, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/3/14.
Lines drawn, Style Weekly [Richmond, Va.], 12/2/14. [This article gives an overview of the perspectives of supporters and opponents of Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.]
Forest fracking, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 12/2/14. [News Grouper note: This is an opinion piece. Opinion pieces normally are not included in this list of articles, but this one is included because it primarily identifies issues and positions, more so than advocating a position.]
Dominion sends Nelson County landowners final survey notice, Lynchburg News & Advance, 11/23/14 [regarding notices to landowners of 217 tracts in Nelson County that Dominion Resources needs to survey for proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Anger, defiance mark Mountain Valley Pipeline meeting in Giles County, Roanoke Times, 11/21/14.
Limited fracking in national forest seemingly won’t affect Lynchburg’s reservoir, Lynchburg News & Advance, 11/19/14.
Conservation groups, political leaders support National Forest plan, Waynesboro News-Virginian, 11/19/14.
Fracking compromise in George Washington National Forest receives mostly positive reaction, Associated Press, as published by Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/18/14.
U.S. OKs fracking in GW National Forest, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/18/14.
[U.S. Senators] Kaine, Warner praise George Washington forest fracking decision, Waynesboro News-Virginian, as published by Roanoke Times, 11/18/14.
Oil and gas decision in GW National Forest: Fracking, yes. Drilling, some; Christian Science Monitor, 11/18/14.
In Compromise Plan, Limited Fracking Is Approved for National Forest in Virginia, New York Times, 11/18/14.
Fracking gets green light in largest national forest on East Coast, CBS News, 11/18/14.
Eminent domain lawyer to address pipeline issues Monday [Nov. 17, 2014] in Blacksburg, Roanoke Times, 11/16/14.
Montgomery County [Va.] board [of supervisors] opposes route of Mountain Valley Pipeline, Roanoke Times, 11/13/14.
Dominion sending final notice to landowners who won’t let it survey land for [Atlantic Coast] pipeline, Charlottesville Daily Progress, 11/12/14.
Landowner rights vs. public need in battle over pipeline route, Roanoke Times, 11/9/14 [article includes links to several other sources of information on gas pipeline proposals].
Pipeline opponents seek to influence FERC decision [account of a meeting of about 200 people in Blacksburg on October 28], Roanoke Times, 11/9/14.
Pipeline project pumping concerns, [at meeting of Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors on 11/34/14], Danville Register & Bee, 11/8/14.
Montgomery County crowd registers opposition to pipeline/Several hundred people gathered to hear a presentation about a proposed natural gas pipeline, Roanoke Times, 11/6/14 [information meeting held by Montgomery County, Va., Board of Supervisors in Blacksburg on 11/5/14].
Pipeline protesters urge more research [in Augusta County, Va., on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline], Waynesboro News Virginian, 11/2/14.
Dominion touches on pipeline safety concerns, Waynesboro News Virginian, 10/29/14. [Comments by Emmett Toms, manager of state and local affairs with Dominion Resources, on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, at a community-group meeting in Augusta County, Va.]
Pipeline protestors [from Nelson County, Va.] visit lawmakers’ local offices, Charlottesville Daily Progress, 10/29/14.
Montgomery County [Va.] residents voice opposition to pipeline [2 min.54 sec. video], WDBJ7-TV [Roanoke, Va.], 10/29/14.
Dominion starts making adjustments to pipeline route, Waynesboro News Virginian, 10/24/14. [As of October 24, 2014, Dominion Resources had sent letters to owners of over 3300 properties in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, asking permission to survey land for the potential Atlantic Coast pipeline.]
Pipeline opponents launch monitoring project [plan by Alleghany-Blue Ridge Alliance of groups in Virginia and West Virginia, for monitoring construction of proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, if it ultimately goes forward], Waynesboro News Virginian, 10/22/14.
Franklin County residents grill company officials about pipeline project [at 10/21/14 public meeting in Rocky Mount], Roanoke Times, 10/21/14.
Montgomery County supervisors comment on pipeline after hearing from large crowd, Roanoke Times, 10/15/14.
Petition drive against pipeline to go to McAuliffe, Waynesboro News-Virginian, 10/14/14 [petition drive by Augusta County, Va., Alliance].
Landowners state their case on fracking, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 10/11/14 [interviews with landowners—one each in Caroline, Essex, King George, King and Queen and Westmoreland counties in Virginia—who have agreed to lease property for natural gas wells].
New route for [Mountain Valley] gas pipeline avoids Floyd County, passes through Roanoke County, Roanoke Times, 10/7/14.
Partner in Mountain Valley Pipeline faces criminal charges in Pa., Roanoke Times, 10/6/14.
Opinion: Virginia must carefully consider fracking issues, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/2/14 [Virginia chapter of Sierra Club is advocating that Virginia not issue any new gas-drilling permits “until a Virginia-specific study has been completed and strong regulations addressing risks have been put in place”].
McAuliffe defends pipeline support at climate-change meeting, Washington Post, 9/10/14.
Anti-pipeline groups form coalition, Waynesboro News-Virginian, 9/11/14 [22 groups join to form Alleghany-Blue Ridge Alliance in opposition to Atlantic Coast Pipeline project].
Washington County supervisors vote 6-1 to allow natural gas drilling, Bristol Herald-Courier, 9/10/14.
Fracking takes center stage with panel at Rappahannock Community College in Warsaw, Northern Neck News, 9/4/14 [very detailed version of forum on natural gas].
Pipeline: pro and con, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/2/14 [Responses to Va. Gov. Terry McCauliffe’s announcement about Atlantic Coast Pipeline].
Natural gas pipeline plan riles Floyd County, Roanoke Times, 8/14/14.
Drilling company official says no rush on fracking [King George County, Va.]; Regional fracking discussion set Sep. 3 [at Rappahannock Community College in Warsaw, Va.], Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 8/9/14.
Drilling, fracking controversial for Va., Hampton Roads [Virginia Conservation Network public meeting on hydraulic fracturing in Virginia Beach], Daily Press, 7/30/14.
Webinar will detail fracking in Virginia [held online July 9, 2014, by Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, sponsored by Virginia Master Naturalist program], Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 7/7/14.
Fracking pros, cons debated, [at town-hall meeting, attended by some 160 people, at in King George County, Va., on 6/12/14. Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 6/13/14.
Advisory panel on fracking calls for full disclosure on chemicals, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 6/4/14.
Fracking workshop includes DEQ and DMME [workshop held 5/8/14 by VACO in Hanover County, Va.], Westmoreland News, 5/12/14
Local citizens tackle issue of fracking, Northern Neck News, 5/7/14.
Oil and gas leases in bay region spark debate, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/19/14.
State is revising drilling guidelines, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/21/14.
Potomac Watershed Roundtable Considers Fracking in the Taylorsville Basin, Bay Journal, 4/8/14.
Fracking worries arise at conservation forum in city, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/17/14.
Land trust may change policy on gas drilling, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/13/14.
“A lot of fear” about fracking, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/9/14.
Local officials dig into fracking, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/8/14.
Virginia tidewater fracking bill modified to increase oversight of fracking, but stops short of ban; SB 48 has moved from committee to full state senate with significant modifications, Bay Journal, 2/4/14.
Fracking in George Washington National Forest could threaten D.C. area drinking water, Washington Post, 2/1/14.
Proposed fracking in Virginia meets broad opposition, Associated Press, as published in Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/27/14.
[King George County] to study up on fracking issue, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 1/20/14.
Fracking prompts water worries, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 1/10/14.
Fracking impact weighed in area, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 12/12/13.