Pipeline Files Additional Suits In Buckingham County

Published 4:19 pm Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) LLC has filed additional civil suits in Buckingham Circuit Court against landowners in order to gain access to survey for a proposed natural gas pipeline.

Though Dominion spokesman Frank Mack said until Dominion had confirmation he could only officially say they had filed legal action against six landowners, the Virginia Courts Case Information System’s Civil Division and Buckingham Circuit Court Clerk’s Office indicate that there are seven active civil suits with the ACP listed as the plaintiff.

Defendants listed in the latest suits are Michael W. Huntley, Charles D. and Linda L. Chaffins, Mercedes A. and Jeffrey E. Villaman, Rawls Family LLC and Mary Ann and Richard Perkins Jr., according to the online system.

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In early June, ACP filed suits against two landowners, Robert Calvin Day Jr. and Beverly B. McQuary.

Mack told The Herald that five of the six landowners are in the path of the Wingina Alternate Route.

Dominion, the lead partner of the proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline project, is seeking federal approval to construct a 42-inch pipe through Buckingham, in addition to building a compressor station that would have over 40,000 horsepower.

The Wingina Alternate Route, if adopted, would move the pipeline’s entrance into Buckingham about three miles northeast of the proposed route, closer to the Yogaville community.

“It’s too early to say if any additional legal action will be filed in these three counties,” Mack said of landowners in Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward, “especially since some landowners may change their minds and give us permission to survey.”

The proposed pipeline would run through all three counties.

“Surveys are needed to gather environmental, historical and cultural information about the study corridor so that the ACP can choose which route would have the least impact,” said Mack in a June email to The Herald.

“Some landowners along this route have denied us permission to survey, and some also have given us permission to survey which we expect to start in the near future,” he said of the alternate route.

Mack said some of the landowners may grant permission before any hearing occurs, “which, of course, we would welcome. We expect the legal process to take several months for those who have not given us access to survey,” he told The Herald in early June.

Hearings on the suits are set to begin on Monday in Buckingham Circuit Court.