• 61°

‘Please exercise your responsibility’

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is available.

It describes the land that the pipeline will go through, the unique aspects of that land and the community and how to protect those things if they build the pipeline.

The pipeline approval process requires citizens have the opportunity to share our thoughts, concerns and ideas.

Ours will be in Farmville at the Moton Museum on Tuesday, Feb. 21. There will be no meetings near the actual pipeline route in Buckingham or Cumberland.

Even landowners who have already accepted an easement can participate. Are there things about your property that you want to be sure are taken care of? Instead of just telling company representatives and hoping they tell the right person, this is a way you can tell the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It will be a meeting with just a FERC representative and a recorder so the message gets to the right person.

These meetings give everyone a chance to tell those who will make the decision about approving the pipeline and will specify the steps that must be taken to protect the unique history of our land, the distinctive environmental features of our community or anything else that is important.

Opportunities like this do not happen very often and it is important that we participate.

Unless we do, no one in Washington knows what we know.

This is our chance to make sure that FERC understands the things that are important to us as citizens and landowners and that it requires that these are protected. 

Like our right to vote, our right to share our ideas and concerns with our government is important.

Prepare to exercise your responsibility as a citizen. Be sure your ideas and concerns are heard.

Irene Ellis Leech is from Mt. Rush in Buckingham. Her email address is ileech@vt.edu.