Near Wintergreen Resort Entrance
Nelson County, Virginia
Wintergreen Property Owners’ Executive Director Jay Roberts says the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has a responsibility to take a detailed look at the proposed impact of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline being constructed through the mountains within a few hundred feet of the entry-exit of Wintergreen Resort.
“The mountain has unique characteristics. There’s material that slides off a mountain relatively easy, just like at interstate 64 in Afton. And, when you denude the mountains for trees that hold the soil, and you introduce water you have the risk of debris avalanches. And those debris avalanches can take out the roadway, they can block the entrance and exit to the community. The material gets in the streams. It’s extremely important for DEQ to look at the engineering and study it and not rubber-stamp the project.”
Above, in this brief video Blue Ridge Life Magazine Publisher Tommy Stafford looks at test wells along the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline route with Jay Roberts, Executive Director of Wintergreen Property Owners Association. The wells are within a few hundred feet of the entry-exit of Wintergreen Resort.
Roberts went on to say that keeping underground water running along faults in the mountains has always been a challenge. It was often a problem at the resort when constructing other projects there. He expressed great concern about where the water would be diverted once construction gets underway.
“Stafford : “Is that essentially what you are asking is for them to take a specific look at this versus just accepting the Army Corps’ broad approval?”
Roberts: “Yes. It’s an upland area, DEQ has well within their right the option of studying it to make sure that it meets the standards of The Commonwealth.”
Stafford: “Right now they are proceeding under this blanket Army Corp permit, is that correct?”
Roberts: “Essentially they are saying if it’s good enough for the Army Corps then it’s good enough for us. And, that’s just not true.”
Stafford : “So you will approach the folks at DEQ about this and hope they see your point?”
Roberts: “Absolutely. Turn the information over to them, ask them again, we’ve already asked them a few times to study it.”
The new request to DEQ to take another look was filed early Wednesday morning. The new document is very detailed and provides significant history and engineering information in the new request.
Wintergreen Property Owners’ President John Coy says if the exposure is going to be pushed on residents and others at Wintergreen then Dominion should step up financially and do the right thing.
“The fact is we don’t want the pipeline there in part due to its position to our exit and entrance. We’ve done everything legally that we can to get it moved. We realize there are certain limitations. What we are asking is, knowing that it is there, a fact. Two, the reality that it creates an element of risk for our community. The risk of an eruption. That eruption could in fact close of our mountain to exit and entrance. Really all that we are asking is that the pipeline creates and imposes certain risks upon our community. We’re asking Dominion / the ACP to recognize that responsibility that they’ve put on us and to be willing to pay for the costs that we’re going to have to incur. That’s all that we’re asking. We think it’s a reasonable request.”
Both Roberts and Coy say they now await a response from Virginia DEQ.