Leslie Hartz, Dominion’s pipeline construction vice president, wrote on May 31 that she felt compelled to respond to Harry Crosby’s May 24 column regarding the potential ACP effects on his farm. I feel compelled to respond to her. I must say I applaud her sudden desire for communication as I have emailed her several times with no response.
Answering Mr. Crosby’s very real concerns with more Dominion hyperbole is disheartening. Dominion’s job and economic growth numbers continue to soar. First it was 8,800 construction jobs and 1,400 permanent jobs (Dominion mailer) and now it is 17,200 and 2,200. The facts are that those construction jobs – however many – will be filled by out-of-towners. And the final count on the full-time jobs, according to Dominion’s report. 39. That’s right, 39.
The job numbers aren’t the only ones growing. Last year Dominion sent charts to all counties along the ACP giving undocumented ACP tax revenue figures. Good news, Augusta – last year our annual payment was predicted to “peak” at $1.5 million, but now it is $1.75 million. Even that exaggerated number won’t offset tax losses from devalued property.
Finally, let me share a conversation that I had at the Stuarts Draft scoping meeting with a Dominion engineer. I asked specifically about the allowable weight of a vehicle crossing the pipeline. She hemmed and hawed so I gave an example: “A farmer’s barn is on fire. A fully loaded fire truck with water weighs 60,000 pounds. Can the truck cross to put out the fire?” More throat-clearing before asking a colleague who immediately said “No!” The first engineer quickly pointed out that if Dominion were called they could come out and create a reinforced crossing. “The barn is on fire,” I repeated. Then I asked about a fully-loaded log truck, a cement truck, and a combine. No answers.
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