Nelson Co. Residents Worry About Potential Pipeline

Nelson Co., VA - Some Nelson County homeowners are concerned about a possible pipeline that may run through their property. Dominion Resources has announced they're considering building a 450-mile natural gas pipeline, running from West Virginia through parts of Virginia and North Carolina. Residents say a few days ago they received a letter in the mail. In the letter, Dominion requests permission to go on the landowners' property to survey for best possible routes for the proposed pipeline. Some residents are worried they won't get the final say, however. "There are communities along the line and in North Carolina that are hungry for this low cost natural gas," said Dominion Spokesman Jim Norvelle. Dominion says they're in the very early stages of considering the 450-mile natural gas pipeline. The company is considering several routes for the underground transmission line, some of which could run through Nelson County. "This pipeline can bring economic benefits all along the pipeline as well as to those that are looking for a low cost clean energy source," Norvelle said. Nelson County residents like John Hellerman recently received a letter from Dominion alerting them that their properties fall along the potential route. The letter requests permission to conduct surveys and environmental studies on their property as part of the initial phase. But Hellerman and his neighbors are concerned they will have little say if this project moves forward. "My guess is that it's just taking the path of least resistance. It's just going to roll and it's going to go where ever they decided it's going to go," Hellerman said. Nelson County Supervisors tell ABC 13 since the letter went out, they've been hearing from residents with reservations about the proposed pipeline. "A lot of questions that need to be answered. I don't know if they will be answered," Hellerman said. Dominion will begin conducting surveys and environmental studies next summer. "If the property we are surveying is selected as the best possible route then we will enter into negotiations with land owners about acquiring their property if necessary," Norvelle said. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission first has to approve the plan, then Norvelle says if they decide to go through with the project, they will make sure all the county boards are aware. They will also hold public workshops in communities around the proposed route.
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