Home Energy and Environment Sierra Club: Proposed Natural Gas Pipelines Across Virginia “Appalling”

Sierra Club: Proposed Natural Gas Pipelines Across Virginia “Appalling”


I just read this article by Virginia Sierra Club Pipeline Committee Chair Kirk Bowers, and thought it deserved as much attention as possible. Here are a few highlights, but definitely read the whole thing (and send it to Gov. Terry McAuliffe while you’re at it, telling him what you think of this crazy course of action).

*”Three large-diameter, 42-inch Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) lines are proposed in Central and Southwest Virginia. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), 550 miles long, would originate in Harrison County, WV and run to southeastern North Carolina. The 330-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) would extend from Wetzel County, WV and travel south to compressor station 165 in  Pittsylvania County, VA. The Western Marcellus Pipeline (WMP) extends from the Rockies Express pipeline near Clarington, OH and Williams Oak Grove processing plant in Marshall County, WV to compressor Station 165 in Pittsylvania County, VA.”

*”There is no precedent in Virginia for 42-inch pipeline construction across steep forested terrain like the Alleghenies, Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains…These are highly sensitive environmental areas at the headwaters of many of our rivers in Virginia. The pipelines will permanently fragment the truly special forests around Signal Corps Knob, Shenandoah Mountain and Laurel Fork, among others. This region contains some of the most intact, late-successional forest habitat and is an important reservoir of biodiversity for rare species.”

*”The Shenandoah and Roanoke Valley are riddled by porous, unstable karst formations, which would be subject to contamination of groundwater by pipeline leakage and rupture of pipelines due to unstable soil structure.”

*”Since 1986, there have been 7,940 incidents, 512 fatalities, 2,359 injuries and more than $6.8 billion in property damages due to pipeline explosions in the United States. The blast radius is 1,100 feet for a 42-inch diameter pipeline. ”

*”Landowners will see a significant decrease in property values due to the restricted use of land on the easements as well as the visual impacts of a 125-foot wide clear-cut”

*”The proposal to build the pipelines through some of the most beautiful and preserved wilderness in the East is appalling. It poses a serious threat to the environment and to the broader communities along the route. The negative impacts of the Pipelines far outweigh any positive outcomes. Natural gas pipelines accelerate the impacts of climate change. The pipelines will impede the development and use of renewable energy, as well as energy conservation. It will encourage fracking and increase methane emissions more harmful than CO2.”

*”If the pipeline is built, our forests and local communities will bear the full brunt of environmental costs, the harm to hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, and their economies, and the disruption of the rural character of western Virginia while not sharing in any of the purported benefits. “