SORRELLS and REA: Dominion’s Pipeline Proposal is All Pain, No Gain for Virginia

For Virginians who would live and work in its path, Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is a 42-inch, high-pressure natural gas behemoth that will threaten our safety, our property rights and our livelihood for generations to come. Every route Dominion is currently proposing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) poses new and unnecessary risks throughout the commonwealth. Landowners’ rights are ignored; precious water, environmental and historic resources threatened; public safety compromised; and farms and properties devalued.

Dominion says it is committed to safety, communities, ethics and the environment. This is an obvious distortion of the facts and downplaying of the undeniable risks of the ACP. On the ground, the corporation is so big and relies so heavily on subcontractors that it can’t make good on these promises. Dominion has never before constructed, operated or maintained a pipeline the size of the ACP, increasing the likelihood of leaks or deadly explosions. The proposed route travels across steep and densely forested mountains and land prone to sinkholes, erosion and flooding, which could result in water contamination, landslides, or pipeline breach. In addition, emergency responders — including many volunteers who sometimes are not at the station — are inadequately trained to handle a gas leak or pipeline fire, so countless lives could be at risk.

Well over 90 percent of the proposed route slices through private property; the rest is on public lands. Currently 100 percent of the route is in the wrong place. The All Pain, No Gain Campaign, organized by concerned Virginians, is launching a call to action to urge lawmakers to tell Dominion “No!” in regard to the proposed routes and potentially damaging construction plans.

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