Pipeline could move closer to Yogaville

Published 5:07 pm Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dominion has confirmed that Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) LLC is studying route adjustments in the northwestern portion of Buckingham County that could see the proposed 42-inch natural gas pipeline move closer to the Yogaville community.

According to Friends of Buckingham, a group opposed to the project, the possible move could put the proposed pipeline about 3,000 feet from the LOTUS, or the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine.

“The Wingina Alternate Variation that we adopted moved the pipeline to about [a] half-a-mile away from the Yogaville property line,” said Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle. “Both of the minor adjustments that we are studying would move the pipeline closer to the Yogaville property line.”

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Norvelle said once ACP began looking closer at the variation — which was adopted as part of the proposed route several weeks ago — “we found a new wetland mitigation area along the James River in Buckingham County that the pipeline must avoid. This wetland mitigation area is part of the plan for the new Henrico County reservoir in Cumberland County. So we are studying a slight change to the route in Buckingham County to avoid that area.”

Dominion is leading the joint venture to construct a 550-mile natural gas pipeline through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina — one that’s seeking federal approval.

“Once again, Dominion is offering some very sketchy details as to where they want to place it,” said Friends of Buckingham’s Kenda Hanuman of the potential adjustments. “We feel that Dominion is not our good neighbor. They are not considering business interests, they are not considering people’s well-being [or] their health,” she said.

“You may also remember that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC] asked [ACP] to look at and consider a route that avoids both the Norwood–Wingina Historic District and the James River [Wildlife Management Area],” said Norvelle. “We are studying a change to the Wingina Alternate Route that would do that as well.”

The current proposed route travels through the middle of the wildlife management area, according to an ACP map.

Norvelle said that looking at minor adjustments to already announced routes “never really ends.”

“Both adjustments would be in northwestern Buckingham County and not for any great distances,” Norvelle said.

The potential adjustments are not connected to the 147-acre parcel of land ACP purchased to potentially locate a compressor station, Norvelle said.

“We are continuing to look at the details, but these adjustments do not enter or cross Yogaville property,” Norvelle reiterated.

According to Dominion, the ACP would serve multiple public utilities and “their growing energy needs in Virginia and North Carolina. The natural gas transported safely by this project would be used to generate electricity as well as to heat homes and run local businesses.”