UPDATED: Dominion Moving Forward with Pipeline and Nelson Residents Aren't Happy

Sept. 2, 2014

Dominion is moving forward with plans to build a natural gas pipeline that would cut through Nelson County.

The 550-mile project will start in Harrison County, WV., going through Nelson and Buckingham counties in Virginia and end in Robeson County, NC.

The $5 billion proposal has been met with criticism in Nelson Co. where residents are concerned about the impacts of the pipeline.

The pipe itself would be 42 inches wide, and buried out of sight. However, Dominion would have to remove all trees and other obstructions for 75 feet surrounding the pipeline.

But for residents in Nelson County, the announcement of today's plans was not what they wanted to hear.

'Friends of Nelson', a local group of property owners opposed to the pipeline, said in a press release that this project is not of the public interest.

"All we can say is that we are not happy with the whole big plan it really will have a devastating effect," Kathy Versluys.

Kathy said that herself along with other residents feel like they don't have a voice nor a say in how things are moving forward in their own back yard.

"I mean Nelson County roads are not built for big industry, let's just face it, so these huge trucks with these huge pieces of pipe would be out of place," she said.

Even for small businesses it could have a deeper impact, one that directly hits their pockets. For new business owner Denver Riggleman of Silverback Distillery off of route 151, the pipeline plans could not have come at a more inconvenient time.

"Well it affects us personally because this is our fifty acres we just finished this distillery on just four days ago and this is our fifth day being open," said Riggleman.

Denver and his wife had plans to retire on their new land and they didn't expect that this plan would impact them so soon.

"An individual that came from Dominion or one of their companies they told me that the pipeline would come right through my land on an angle," he said.

As plans go forward, one can only wonder if the pipeline and the people of Nelson County can co-exist.

"As far as co-existing, you'd have to see the environmental plan and we haven't seen much of anything except that we're going to be affected which is a bit troubling," he said.

The project still has to go through the approval process, and if it's completed it will support 118 jobs per year and an additional $233,000 in state tax revenue.

But only time will tell what true effect this has on not only the people of Nelson, but everyone living along the pipeline.

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