Lawsuits Against Nelson County Landowners Withdrawn

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NELSON COUNTY, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- Dominion officials say they have withdrawn lawsuits from 68 landowners in Nelson County over the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The suits were dropped for a technical reason, because they were brought when the pipeline was known by a different name. It gives the landowners another chance to give Dominion access to their property for surveys, but officials say they may bring new lawsuits if landowners continue to deny them access.

Virginia law allows natural gas companies access to private property to conduct surveys, with or without permission.

Dominion spokesperson Jim Norvelle said Nelson County has brought the strongest resistance of any county on the 550-mile proposed route, which stretches from West Virginia, through Virginia and into North Carolina.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is currently gathering public feedback about the project.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine has not yet decided whether he supports the pipeline or not, but he is encouraging residents to raise their concerns or support with FERC.

"The process is set up so that you can make your voice heard," Kaine said. "We're getting comments, too. I've already met with citizens groups. I have also met with the current proponents of the pipelines. So I'm trying to learn as well."

Norvelle said it will likely take at least a year for FERC to decide whether to approve the pipeline.

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