Pipeline will ruin views
Published 10:10 pm Monday, February 26, 2018
To the editor:
A recent Facebook posting from a resident along the path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline stated that she was looking out at the mountain near her home and wondering if this was the last time she would see the beautiful view. The ugly scar of tree clearing is starting for the ACP, and for her, for us, and for tens of thousands in western Virginia and West Virginia, some of our most beautiful views will be lost forever if this project continues.
The ACP didn’t have to do this to us. They could have co-located the pipeline with existing cleared rights of way, some of which they already own. In fact, in December of 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission directed the ACP to propose an alternate route that maximized co-location. Nevertheless, the ACP produced alternate route GWNF 6, which is 95 miles long, has no co-location whatsoever, and was subsequently approved by FERC.
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As with property values, FERC is once again complicit in this immoral and unjust act of aggression, and may very well be in violation of federal law as well. The federal Natural Gas Act 18 C.F.R. 380.15 states that the siting and construction of natural gas facilities shall be undertaken in a way that avoids or minimizes effects on scenic, historic, wildlife and recreational values. Beheading, flattening, denuding and scarring our wooded Appalachian Mountains, including 38 miles of scenic ridgetops, does not avoid nor minimize effects to scenic values. It assaults them and maximizes the loss.
FERC’s environmental impact statement conjures up the argument that we somehow won’t be able to see the ravaged ridgetops. We see these beautiful ridgetops every day. It also states our area is remote and sparsely populated, as if the law is waived for us. The law is not waived in our area. To the contrary, and what is crystal clear is that the law was written to protect scenic values and was written specifically for areas like ours.