VA ruling could provide valuable precedent in Atlantic Coast Pipeline fight

A ruling against the Mountain Valley Pipeline could prove to be valuable ammunition in the fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Robert Irons ruled earlier in August that surveyors seeking to choose a route for the Mountain Valley Pipeline could not enter the property of landowners who had denied them access.  While no decision has been made in a similar case concerning the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), the judge in that case – Judge Elizabeth Dillon – said “she understood the importance of that case.”

While spokesmen from Dominion Resources, one of the main companies pushing for the ACP, said this ruling would have no effect on that project, opponents of the ACP disagreed.  If surveyors for Dominion and other companies pushing the ACP (like Duke Power), they will not have as much information for their application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which would not bode well for the fate of the ACP.  From the Daily Progress:

“[I]n the case of Dominion not being allowed to survey, the company then would have less information about the land to include in its submission to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which ultimately holds the authority to approve or deny the project.

“They have to demonstrate on the application how many places were surveyed and who wouldn’t allow it,” Reed said “For those opposing the pipeline, this is extremely good news. This will cause less information available for Dominion to advocate for the pipeline.”

For the full article, please click the link for Charlottesville’s Daily Progress listed above.