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Opinion/Letter: Explanations fall short on ACP, mountains

Opinion/Letter: Explanations fall short on ACP, mountains

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Re: “Foes take mountaintop concerns to McAuliffe,” The Daily Progress, May 5:

The end of the story, which deals with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, states: “[Dominion] changed the route two years ago, in part to avoid Davis Creek — on the other side of the mountain — where the worst landslides and loss occurred after torrential rains from Hurricane Camille in 1969.”

That makes our point! Does Dominion believe that changing sides of the mountain is going to prevent the same thing from occurring on our side as it did on the Davis Creek side — especially after removing the trees and topping the mountain ridge for almost a mile?

And it changed the route “two years ago,” and we find this out the past few months? We are being kept in the dark.

As paraphrased by the reporter of the story: Greg Park, construction manager, said that “some ridges may be cut as much as 10 feet, but nowhere near the 60 feet predicted by opponents.”

When did he walk our ridge line? Our mountain crest is 9 to 25 feet across for almost its full length. It has a 45- to 60-degree grade or greater. To meet his required 125-foot width to bury his 42-inch pipe, a minimum of 40-55 feet of the ridge — with accompanying trees, rocks, and underbrush — must go. It’s simple geometry.

We are also very much aware that removing old-growth forest with underbrush makes it impossible to grow anything without replacing 12 to 24 inches of top soil. That’s approximately 46,000 cubic yards of top soil per mile, for 38 miles. Where is that soil coming from? Or is Dominion skipping that part as unnecessary?

All we’ve gotten from Dominion since the beginning of the pipeline proposal are clichés, platitudes, banalities and claims of ignorance. For what? A temporary source of fracked gas and billions of dollars in profit going into a few pockets?

We politely request Gov. Terry McAuliffe's direct involvement in this issue. We are his citizens and we need his help.

Are there no existent rights-of-way that can be used here? Why destroy our beautiful Virginia mountains?

Joseph McMoneagle, Nelson County

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