Pipeline May Flow Through

Published 4:07 pm Thursday, May 15, 2014

PRINCE EDWARD — Dominion Resources Inc. has plans for a natural gas pipeline project that could stretch through portions of Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties.

Dubbed “Southeast Reliability Project,” the pipeline would run from West Virginia to Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Prince Edward County officials were notified Tuesday afternoon about the proposed natural gas pipeline.

Email newsletter signup

“They said that a process called Open Season will begin Friday and that’s when everybody who is interested will be notified and it will be after that time that a map will be made available,” explained Assistant County Administrator Sarah Puckett at Tuesday night’s board of supervisors meeting. “But, in the meantime, they were contacting the localities who had property owners who were in the proposed…path…of the pipeline and they informed me that if we drew a line from Wintergreen to Ft. Pickett that that would be a pretty close semblance of where that path would be.”

For Prince Edward, that means it would likely include the eastern part of the county.

As proposed, it would be a 36-40-inch pipeline, according to Puckett.

County officials did not have a list of landowners and it was hoped that the landowner list would be available to the County next week. Company officials are willing to meet with the supervisors and landowners that would be potentially impacted.

Could Prince Edward tap into the line?

“Well, I asked that question and the answer I got today was that for a price localities could be given the option of purchasing a ‘T’, so that at some later date if the local distribution company wished to do gas distribution in our locality, that that connection point would already be there,” Puckett stated.

She further detailed that they are in a natural gas franchise area, even though they have no natural gas available in the county. The County would have to work through Columbia Natural Gas to access that line because the Dominion Power line is going to be like a distribution point.

According to a list of “talking points” provided to the County, the proposed $4 billion-plus project would deliver natural gas from Marcellus and Utica shale basins “to serve existing growth markets for energy in the Mid-Atlantic region.” It “will improve gas supply for Mid-Atlantic markets, thereby promoting price stability and enhance economic opportunity.”

The infrastructure, the release further detailed, would “(1) better serve existing customer demand, (2) improve service reliability and (3) allow for customer growth and economic development along the route.”

Project construction is anticipated for 2017 and 2018 with service beginning by the end of 2018.

Letters to potentially impacted property owners in Prince Edward are expected to be mailed later this week.

According to Jim Norvelle, Director of Dominion Energy Communications, it is early in the process.

No press release is even available yet.

“What we’re doing right now is we’re giving county boards along a…possible route—we haven’t determined a route yet—just heads up that they’re gonna hear more information and that it’s coming,” he said. “We have not yet applied and therefore we don’t have any real scoping information available. We are in the process of notifying landowners along a corridor that we’ll be out there doing survey work.”

He added, “But the project is in such a preliminary stage that…we don’t have that information quite ready yet—regarding what I’ll call a fact sheet or a one-pager on the project—but we felt it was important enough that the boards of supervisors in the counties, where the corridor is going, is made aware of it.”

It is a pretty wide corridor, Norvelle detailed, that they’re trying to find a route through, but he noted it would include Buckingham and parts of Cumberland and Prince Edward.

“The first thing that happens is that we have to send…landowners…in this area a letter to say, ‘Hey, we’re gonna come survey on your property, but that doesn’t mean you’re selected as the property we would like to build the line on,’” Norvelle said. “And as we go through the process, as we do…select a more defined route for the project, then we will work with the landowners directly…Yes, there’s compensations involved and permissions, etcetera.”

Norvelle speculated it would take a few months to get an idea for a route.