Community continues initiatives to stop Atlantic Coast Pipeline

NELSON COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- People in Nelson County are continued to share their mission to stop the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline this weekend.

Sarah Murphy, a resident of Nelson County, left Saturday for the final part of her journey to travel through the proposed site of the pipeline with her two horses.

"We are 400 miles into a 600-mile ride along the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline route," Murphy said. "We've got about 370 miles left. We took a break for the winter, so we're coming out of hiatus."

She will be on the road for close to three months to learn more about the potential effects of the pipeline.

"Coming through West Virginia, where they have a lot of active pipelines and projects going in, it's heartbreaking to see what the reality of that is," she said. "We haven't had it here."

Her journey will take her across the state line into Robeson County, North Carolina.

By traveling with her horses, she hopes she will also send a unique message to the community about the pipeline's use.

"Nobody rides horses as a mode of transportation anymore. Everyone drives. So I think it's a good juxtaposition between saying this is a dead or dying way and we've moved on to something else," Murphy said. "I think that parallels with what is happening with the gas industry."

An anti-pipeline workshop was also held at Spruce Creek Farm on Saturday to raise awareness about the pipeline project.

The event featured several speakers, who talked about topics related to the possible construction of the pipeline and the impact it could have on the area.

Richard Averitt owns Spruce Creek Farm with his wife. He says the pipeline would run through their property and they hope the workshop can help people understand how it could impact their home.

"You realize that in order to put in the pipeline, they have to clear trees, 150-feet wide, and thousands of trees," said Averitt.

With people talking about the possible effects of the pipeline, Murphy hopes the conversation can continue to unite the community in their fight against the construction of the pipeline.

"Everyone kind of feels like they're struggling with their own part. But really, the only way we're going to defeat this is if we come together," she said.

Dominion Energy said the construction activities have been suspended for the moment.

The company's appeal to the federal court's decision will be heard in May.

Karl Neddenien, a spokesperson for Dominion Energy, released the following statement:

We are building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline with some of the strongest environmental protections and under the most intense scrutiny of any infrastructure project in the region’s history. No project has ever been built in our region with as much attention to the environment and public safety. Regardless of temporary delays, we know that the completion of ACP is essential to meeting the energy needs of millions of Americans, and we are confident in the ultimate outcome: The ACP will be completed.

If you would like to follow Murphy on her journey, you can click on the link in the Related Links box.

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