Here we go again! As those of you who have been following (and opposing!) this saga for the last 6 years know, there are myriad subplots in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s (ACP) big scheme. Today we need your input on one such subplot. Placing a 42-inch high pressure natural gas pipeline creates a ripple-effect of destruction that spills far beyond the actual construction right-of-way for the pipeline.
Case in point: The Rockbridge County Planning Commission will be reviewing a site plan for an ACP contractor’s yard in Goshen at its virtual meeting on May 13, 2020, at 7 p.m (info on tuning in here). This 26.9 acre proposed yard would be an active hub for pipe welding, fuel storage, pipeline worker rendezvous, material storage and heavy vehicle travel to and from Bath, Highland, and Augusta counties. Click here for more details on the site plan.
Reasons for concern: It is important to remember that this contractor yard is located in an industrial zoning district, and is, therefore, an allowable right. However, a site plan still needs to meet standards and stipulations that are agreed upon by the applicant and the local government with input from the citizens. In this case there are plenty of concerns, some of which could be addressed as requirements prior to approval of the plans, including issues regarding traffic, health, safety, environmental degradation, and costs to the community.
In addition, the timing for approval is wrong. The ACP is currently a stalled and floundering project, having been idled for the last 18 months because 8 key permits have been revoked. Further, bringing large numbers of workers into the area during a pandemic is just a really bad idea. Similarly, storing vast quantities of pipe in such a facility for long periods of time allows degraded toxic pipe coating to get into the drinking water supply.
Call for input: Even if you don’t live near Goshen, this could affect you, your community, and your state. Because of social distancing rules, we are NOT asking you to show up at this meeting. Rather, the Rockbridge planning department is very interested in hearing your concerns and asks that comments be emailed directly to them in advance of the meeting so they have time to carefully consider the issues. Consider letting them know where you live, particularly if you are in Rockbridge, and how this contractor’s yard would affect you personally, as well as how it would affect the broader community. Please remember that this is not a decision about the ACP as a whole, but rather on a specific project—a contractor’s yard—in a rural spot in western Virginia. See this document for concerns specific to the yard you can add to your personal concerns.
We need you to send comments to the Rockbridge Planning Commission members as soon as possible so they have time to fully understand and can consider how they might be able to help lessen the impacts of this contractor’s yard.
Click here to easily send your comments directly to the Rockbridge Planning Commission members: CitizenComment@rockbridgecountyva.gov
And, while citizens are encouraged not to attend the meeting in person, Rockbridge County has created several options to participate remotely. You can view those here.
As always, we appreciate your help as we join together, in ways large and small, to make sure that this unnecessary and destructive pipeline project never happens.