Environmental Groups Ask for Review of Pipeline Proposals

On this map from Dominion Resources, the red line cuts through the proposed Norwood-Wingina Historic District. The green line is the newly accepted route to avoid the historic district.
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- Some Virginia lawmakers and residents are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to block a permit to build the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

During a teleconference Monday, landowners, members of Friends of Nelson and other environmental groups asked FERC to evaluate the impact, not only of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, but also three other pipeline projects planned for the region.

In a joint letter, more than 30 organizations from Virginia and West Virginia asked FERC to look at all four projects together, saying they would cause significant damage to the area's farmland, national forests, and dozens of streams.

It's up to FERC to decide whether the pipeline is in the best interests of the Commonwealth.

During the teleconference, 21st District Senator John Edwards said the potential danger for something to go wrong with a pipeline was high. He pointed to earthquakes in Virginia, like the one in Louisa in 2011, as risk factor.

"The one in 1897 had a tremendous impact. If it happened again, a 42-inch, high pressure, natural gas pipeline, with the likelihood of rupturing is very high. If it ruptures, if it explodes, it would have a huge disastrous impact," said Edwards.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a proposed 564-mile natural gas pipeline from West Virginia through Virginia on its way to North Carolina.

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