Caution Urged For Atlantic Coast Pipeline Pathway

MAP-Karst_Geology_Pipeline-Corridor_2014_08_20In June 2014, Dominion Resources and its partners announced plans for a major new natural gas pipeline through Highland and Augusta Counties.

If federal officials approve the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, estimated to cost $4.5 billion to $5 billion, then Dominion and its partners will install a 42-inch pipe in a trench 10 to 12 feet deep with a wide construction corridor and a 75-foot-wide permanent access corridor. The pipeline will extend 550 miles from West Virginia through Virginia into North Carolina with a spur into the Hampton Roads area.

The proposed route could impact our region’s headwaters, streams and tributaries, private and public lands, farms, and unique natural areas, including portions of the George Washington National Forest. Further, our local karst geologic formation, filled with springs and sinkholes, raises the risk of pipeline spills that could contaminate drinking water supplies.

With these concerns in mind, in August 2014, the VCC Board of Directors approved VCC’s membership in a new coalition of concerned organizations called the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance to monitor the proposed pipeline project. See www.abralliance.org for details.

Then, in November 2014, the Board approved a statement to oppose any pipeline pathway through areas of conservation easements and locations designated by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation as Special Project Areas. However, the statement encourages the consideration of alternative routes to locate the pipeline within existing rights-of-ways.
VCC has an advocacy policy that allows us to address an issue or project so widespread and of such magnitude that it would be precedent-setting in a negative way. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline appears to represent a transformational regional project that required VCC input.
If you have would like to have a copy of the Board statement, please contact our office at 540-886-3541

atlantic coast pipeline
The average diameter of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline is 42 inches as illustrated by this model. The pipeline will extend approximately 550 miles from WV through VA into NC with a spur into Hampton Roads. It will be placed in the ground 10 to 12 feet deep with a permanent right-of-way established on the surface through agricultural fields, deep forests, productive farmlands, sensitive wetlands, and historic communities.


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Valley Conservation Council
17 Barristers Row
Staunton, VA 24401
Phone: 540-886-3541
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