Every county in Virginia is blessed with an abundance of historical, cultural and environmental treasures.
The commonwealth also has about 2½ times as many miles of major natural gas pipelines as it does miles of interstate highways. These pipelines — bringing fuel to generate electricity, heat homes and run businesses — go virtually unnoticed by most Virginians because they are buried and the land above them is used for farming, pastures and forest meadows. They do not detract from nearby environs.
As your recent story ("History duels with pipeline progress," Jan. 18 news story) pointed out, siting a new project such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a challenge — not just in Nelson County, but along the entire route. More than 3,000 miles of potential routes have been considered thus far to come up with the current 554-mile path. Many dozens of adjustments have been made as we strive to find the best route.
Great care is being taken to find the route that will have the least impact on all resources. We continue to work with landowners, communities, local governments and interested stakeholders on a safe and suitable route. This process will guide our efforts to avoid and minimize impacts to sensitive areas.
Finding that best path requires having environmental, cultural and soil specialists walk the potential route. That is why it is so important for landowners to allow access to their properties and why we have asked the courts to affirm access when necessary.
While the challenge is undeniable, so are the need for and the benefits of the pipeline. The pipeline brings with it thousands of jobs and the opportunity for lower energy prices and cleaner air across the commonwealth. Our commitment is to ensure that Virginia’s sustainable energy future is compatible with preserving the unfolding story of her past.
PAMELA F. FAGGERT
Chief Environmental Officer & Vice President-Corporate Compliance