Businesses join call for federal review of proposed pipelines

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NELSON COUNTY, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- More than three dozen Nelson County businesses are joining forces with area residents and community organizations in the fight against four proposed natural gas pipelines, including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

They are calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to conduct a comprehensive and simultaneous review of all of the projects that would be crossing Virginia, instead of following the normal procedure of looking at project individually.

According to a release from Friends of Nelson, 44 business , including Wild Wolf Brewing Co. and Veritas Vineyard and Winery, want FERC to conduct a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, or PEIS.

That statement would analyze the cumulative impacts on air, water, soil and climate of the entire process from drilling and fracking the natural gas through the combustion of the gas.

It would also determine if there is enough domestic need to justify the pipelines.

The final part of the PEIS would evaluate other energy sources, such as solar and wind, that could fulfill the need but not require granting energy companies the power of eminent domain to build pipelines across private property without the consent of the property owner.

So far, almost 50 small businesses and community groups have endorsed the request, and Friends of Nelson has collected hundreds of signatures from Nelson County residents supporting the request.

Several legislators have also called for a PEIS, including state Senator Creigh Deeds, state Delegate David Toscano, U.S. Representative Robert Hurt, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and U.S. Senator Mark Warner.

FERC has not yet responded to the request.

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