The Pipeline’s Untold Story

Published 12:21 pm Thursday, July 16, 2015

The no-pipeline movement, opposing the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), is alive and well in much of Virginia.

But there’s an untold story.

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Have you heard of the compressor station?

The pipeline doesn’t work without a facility in which the gas is pressurized to move it through the lines. This compression is approximately 1,400 pounds per square inch. That’s about 40 times the pressure in an automobile tire.

To achieve this, giant turbines will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week to produce 41,000 horsepower. Imagine 291 to 2,005 (depending on the toxin measured) diesel school buses running 24/7. That’s the toxic result of this incessant industrial activity.

And where would you locate such a facility? Well, how about within a half-mile of an African-American community in Buckingham County? Who will notice until it’s too late? When the toxic emissions are causing increased risks of cancer, heart disease, birth defects and respiratory and neurological diseases?

And should there be an accident — as is not uncommon — who will respond?

Remember the images of fireballs of exploded gas in Appomattox in 2008? There’s no comparison between the smaller Appomattox line and this convergence of pipelines.

“Not wanting a pipeline and compressor station in one’s immediate proximity is not the selfish thinking of people who don’t want natural gas to get to North Carolina for starters,” stated Dhyani Simonini, a retired Buckingham County High School teacher. “It is a deadly game of pipeline poker where the stakes are not the amount of money going into corporate pockets or the campaigns of political figures, but the potential cost to citizens of the loss of one’s rights and property, along with the frustrated fury that there was a time in this country when if you didn’t want something on your personal property, you could simply refuse and the nuisance would either go away willingly, or be dragged off by the local sheriff. There was a time in the history of the country when the rights of the people, as long as they respected the rights of others, were protected by the U.S. Constitution.”

On March 10, the Fresh Water Accountability Project released the following, titled, Environmental Groups Align Efforts to Challenge FERC Pipeline Projects: “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is not informing the public about the big picture when it comes to natural gas infrastructure projects related to increased gas drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations according to several environmental groups. The groups represent interests in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia and are concerned that the regional impacts to forests, watersheds, air quality and wildlife are largely being ignored as FERC approves new gas pipelines and compressor stations across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The groups contend that FERC’s rush to increase natural gas infrastructure incentivizes fracking for shale gas while stifling the development of renewable energy.”

The article continues: “Lea Harper, managing director of the Fresh Water Accountability Project in Ohio states, ‘We are glad to be part of the growing movement to hold FERC accountable for the long-term impacts caused by the unconventional shale gas drilling industry, contributing to the destruction of ecosystems, negatively impacting property values, creating public health and safety threats and exacerbating global climate change through the proliferation of fracking and its infrastructure, including compressor stations, pipelines and export facilities.’”

“‘These pipelines serve no public benefit as all current and proposed users are currently served by existing pipelines,’ said Ernie Reed, Wild Virginia’s President. ‘FERC cannot ignore that these pipelines will massively increase gas extraction in the shalefields of West Virginia and provide huge volumes of natural gas for export,’” the article states.

What can we do?

Contact, a grassroots organization working to get all the facts, beyond the quite limited information provided by Dominion Resources/DTI. For further information, visit, or

Kenda Hanuman, a member of Friends of Buckingham, a group opposed to the proposed ACP, came to Buckingham 22 years ago as a visitor and has built three homes, consisting of post and beam and passive and active solar. Her email address is